30 April, 2008
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Note: Sermroids is an illegal substance! The purchase, sale and taking of this substance is strictly prohibited by law. Be sure to keep your Sermroids well-hidden. Side effects may include aggression, mood swings and back hair.
29 April, 2008
Then Rev. Grant shocked everyone, including his wife. During his sermon last Sunday morning, Grant dropped the "S-bomb."
Unlike most pastors, Grant has the habit of preaching through books. He loves the book of Romans. This past Sunday, Grant was preaching out of Romans 9 when he reached the section on Jacob and Esau. That's when it happened. Grant said to his church, "As difficult as it is for us to understand and admit, it sure seems like God is sovereign over this situation."
The audience reportedly just sat there in stunned silence for a few seconds. They tried to take it in. They tried to comprehend what they had just heard from the pulpit. A few were heard to say, "Did he just say what I think he said?" A few mothers quickly ushered their young children back to the nursery. The rumbling in the congregation gradually grew from a whisper to a discussion to a dull roar.
Needless to say, both the sermon and the service came to a quick end. Several of the leaders of the church approached Rev. Grant in confusion and disgust. Sunday School Director Ed Thomas said to Grant, "How could you do that? How could you use the 'S-word' in our church? Just as things were going so well for us, you had to go and ruin everything. I feel so bad for you and us."
Grant did not quite comprehend the gravity of the situation. At least not at first.
Then Philip Simms, a long-time member of Abundant Life, approached Grant, shouting, "I don't ever want to hear that kind of language from this pulpit again. You know better than that - you attended Asbury Seminary. How dare you try to take away my free will?!"
Now Grant understood. He slowly walked back to his office and started packing up his books.
28 April, 2008
My life is busier and only getting busier, and I'll be honest, some days I really struggle to find something funny to write about, and other days I just don't have time. I started this blog as a hobby, not a business. We sell no advertising here, so I cannot devote a huge amount of time to it. If we were racking in the dough each month off of commission then things would probably be different. If anyone out there reading this would like to contribute a large sum of money to support me doing this every day then we'll talk. But since that's probably not going to happen I must change things a bit. So on days when the creative juices are less than stellar (in my opinion) the 30 minutes to an hour it takes me to write, find/design images and post could be better spent doing other things I need to do. All that being said here's the deal...
Like I said, I'm not shutting down the blog, just changing the way we do things here. As far as I know Elder Eric and Brother Slawson will continue their regular Tuesday and Saturday postings respectively. Dr. Bill will appear on occasion as he gets inspired. I can say that I will probably still be posting at least two times per week. So you should at least have 4 articles a week coming your way. So from this point on you can expect there to be some days (other than Sundays) where there are no posts. But in the same respect, there will probably still be weeks where you get a post every day, it just depends on what's happening. Also, for those of you who are used to new posts being up every morning, that might change too. The timing of new posts will probably vary from this point on.
For those of you who have counted on TBNN for your daily spew of coffee on the computer screen, might I suggest perusing some of our archives. I'm assuming most of you haven't read every single article ever published here. If you have, we'll try to come up with some kind of award for you. But, if you look over on the sidebar you'll see a link for a "Providential Article." Press this little magic link and you be instantly transported to a past article, providentially selected. Read, laugh, comment, email them to your friends, etc.
For those of you who have counted on TBNN for your daily rant about Calvinism and the Reformed Faith, might I suggest golf.
26 April, 2008
If you have a few moments, please take the following 5-question quiz:
1. Do you believe you can earn your way into Heaven?
2. Do you believe you get to Heaven by your good works outweighing your bad works?
3. Do you believe church attendance is required for salvation?
4. Do you believe tithing is mandatory for salvation?
5. Do you believe St. Peter holds the keys to the pearly gates of Heaven, and is waiting for you to ask you some questions?
If you answered “No” to all of the questions above, skip down to question #6. Otherwise, discontinue the quiz and click here. Note: “discontinue” means stop taking the quiz.
6. Obviously you have at least some minimal understanding of truth. But, let’s see just how deep is your understanding. Do you believe there is only one way to Heaven?
7. Do you believe that Heaven is only obtained through the Lord Jesus?
If you answered “Yes” to the last two questions, then you are eligible for the ticket! We at www.jesusticket.info like to say, “You are eligible for Your Personal Jesus Ticket!” What do you need to do? What can you do for assurance? The answer resides in the Lord Jesus and only in the Lord Jesus. Jesus is your ticket to Heaven.
We at www.jesusticket.info can help you without the hassle of attending church, without any concern about how good you are, without worrying about what you are going to say to Peter (who won’t even be standing at the gate if you read the scriptures accurately). You can have assurance of your ticket based on real scripture and not man’s notions of goodie-two-shoed-ness.
Here’s what you need to do. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. Go to: www.jesusticket.info
2. Scroll through the Your Personal Jesus Ticket license agreement (a quick 12 page read).
3. Choose the appropriate button.
a. “I agree (I’m choosing Jesus)” button [This is the ticket!]
b. “I disagree (I'm rejecting Jesus)” button. [You cannot get a ticket]
That’s it! By choosing the “I agree (I’m choosing Jesus)” button, you have your ticket to Heaven.
Here is some great news! It does not what you do from this point on because the Bible is very clear that once you are saved, you are always saved. It is scriptural and you can bank on that! Know that, regardless of whether or not you golf on Sunday, watch tv on Wednesday night, forget to read your Bible, forget to pray, or even happen to murder a few annoying people, you already have Your Personal Jesus Ticket.
Probably the best thing about www.jesusticket.info is that you can sign up online to view Your Personal Jesus Ticket any time. There is unlimited access, and it is all for free (with registration).
Plus, if you would like to own your very own Golden Personal Jesus Ticket embossed with your name, simply click the “Buy Personal Golden Jesus Ticket Now” button. For only $49.95 we will mail your Golden Personal Jesus Ticket within 24 hours. Alternatively, for only $9.95 you can download your Regular Personal Jesus Ticket in pdf format and have unlimited printing privileges. All major credit cards accepted.
Do not waste another minute. You never know what may walk into your life today or tomorrow. Why take a chance at the bar, the movies, the mall, the buffet, or even your own living room? If you are concerned about any potentially compromising situations where you may be tempted to blatantly sin in the near future, do not enter that situation without Your Personal Jesus Ticket. Once you have the ticket, you never have to worry again about your sins counting against you.
When pharisaical do-gooders try to tell you to go to church, hold firmly to Your Personal Jesus Ticket (whether it is Golden or Regular does not matter), stress to them that church attendance is never mentioned as a requirement in the Bible. When they tell you that you need to tithe, waive your Golden Personal Jesus Ticket in the air and say, “I’m standing on the promises of Jesus and not your Old Testament rules.” When someone tells a joke about meeting Peter at the gate, make sure to point them to Jesus. Specifically, point them to www.jesusticket.info. Let's make sure we all have tickets to get in.
23 April, 2008
All this to be said that from now through Friday I am resting and hereby have no intentions whatsoever of posting. Yes, we have excellent internet at the hotel where we're staying. Yes, I'll probably actually have free time on my hands, but truth be told I just want to rest and be with my family without having to stress about writing something funny.
So for today on "Finland Day" feel free to post your favorite things about Finland in the comments.
22 April, 2008
Zondervan has announced the huge success of its most recent product: The Build-Your-Own-Belief-System Handbook. Ms. Peggy Shoeman, representing Zondervan, told TBNN, "Over this past four months, the sales of our new handbook surpassed all of our expectations. In fact, only The Message has sold better."
The handbook jacket gives a brief description, saying, "Are you struggling to know what to believe? Do you sense that there is something spiritual about the universe, but don't know where to turn? Have you not yet determined what god exists or how he should relate to you? If you need help, this book has the answers for you.
"This handbook provides helpful pictures (shown here) that illustrate for the reader the relationships of the various world religions to god. Since all religions work together and essentially mean the same thing, this frees the reader up to construct what he wants to believe. In that sense, reading this book is a very liberating experience."
The first few chapters of Zondervan's new masterpiece walk the reader through current belief systems, showing how they really don't have any significant differences. Then, the reader is challenged to journey through 10 simple steps that lead to a new belief system. The steps are as follows:
1. Rid your mind of all previous thoughts.
2. Reject all previous dogmatic religious ideas.
3. Watch an episode of Oprah.
4. Analyze how you feel.
5. Determine what you want.
6. Take a hard look at your felt-needs.
7. Pull what you need from different world religions.
8. Be creative.
9. Construct a belief system that meets your needs.
Billy Dunn, student at Grand Rapids Tech., told us, "Before I read this book, I was very confused about God. I felt guilty and troubled much of the time. I knew something wasn't right but I couldn't put my finger on it. But now, after reading this book, I've learned how to build what I believe. After much study and meditation, I've come to the conclusion that Martians actually dropped off my family on earth about three centuries ago. Therefore, I'm a god. Now I no longer have guilt!"
21 April, 2008
As time passed, missionaries learned to help the poor pagans "sing properly" teaching them that four-part hymns are the only proper mode of musical worship. Soon the evil practices of singing with drums, singing in odd meters, or using indigenous tonality were done away with as newly converted tribes-people were taught the finest translated works of Ira Sanky.
Eventually, some missionaries began to take pianos, the "holiest" of all instruments, because it had essentially no "evil baggage" at all, having never been used by ungodly people in ungodly ways to play ungodly music. Once on the field, they set about to teach the pagans that their flutes and drums and stringed instruments could not be used because of their "wicked connotations." But now, in this age of modern technology and travel, a new "essential instrument" has emerged on the scene helping converted pagans now "worship properly." That "instrument" is the projector.
Called by some simply as a "Power Point Projector" after Microsoft's popular Power Point presentation software, a projector can be hooked up to a computer, DVD player or even a television and then projected on a screen or wall to allow a large number of people to view something. The projector has become very popular over the last 15 years in many churches in America and the West for use during worship. The words to praise songs are projected up on the screen where everyone in a congregation can see them and sing.
"Ever time we come back to the States for a visit we buy more projectors" said Brent Howell, a missionary to rural parts of South America. "Many of these people we are trying to reach come from oral traditions, where they learn their songs by rote. Many who become believers keep on trying to do that, memorizing songs and teaching them to others. But it's important that these people really know how to worship properly, and that is done by having a projector hooked up to a computer so that everyone can see the words."
Others like Howell are taking the same position. Peter Leiken of New Awareness Missions spoke to TBNN about their latest efforts to raise money for projection screens in Asia.
"When we send out our missionaries now we always send them out with a new projector to take to the field," said Leiken. "Projectors have become so much smaller and more compact over the years that it's very easy to take even two or three. But what's most important here is helping these new church planting movements so that people can worship in right ways."
Also along with every projector NAM also supplies a solar cell so that the projector can be used in areas where electricity is not available.
"We are focusing over a million dollars on our projector ministry for 2008," said Leiken. "Our next focus is the projection screen itself. We're able to take it to some places already, but it's very difficult. That's our next most urgent need. Until then some our people will just have to keep projecting things onto walls, which isn't best, but it will have to do for now."
19 April, 2008
Experts believe it can actually be healthy to talk about such things. Not sure how to work these not-so-precious memories into a conversation? What if a new fun way existed that allowed everyone in the room (even the shy people) to give the juicy details of those pre-salvation days with an opportunity to do so within a comfortable, non-prideful, non-judgmental setting?
Well… IT’S HERE!!! The When I Wasn’t Saved board game provides an opportunity for hours of ice-breaking fun. If you are ever in a cold, boring conversation, you can break the ice with the When I Wasn’t Saved board game.
The When I Wasn’t Saved board game makes it easy to break the ice. First, without any conversation required, each participant chooses his/her game piece from a variety of those pre-repeat-after-me prayer days. Examples are:
· Clock set to 4am: for those old night owls
· The Bag of Gold: for those who lost $4,000 one evening in Las Vegas
· Lipstick: for the women who used to doll up their faces
· Other game piece tokens include: the brass knuckles, the joint, the beer can, the condom, the jeans, the movie stub, and the belly-button ring.
Second, remember that the point is not to enjoy talking about those pre-aisle days as much as rejoicing that you have overcome the past and no longer live in those When I Wasn’t Saved days.
Third, place your game token on in the Age of Accountability (Start) position. Roll the dice and move around the gameboard visiting either When I Wasn’t Saved Hellbound locations or When I Wasn’t Saved Heavenbound locations. Hellbound locations include such places as the nightclub, the tattoo parlor, the casino, and the beach. Wherever you stop, hopefully you are reminded of a pre-baptism story from your past or the past of anyone you know who has now walked the aisle. Make sure to begin every story with, “When I wasn’t saved I used to…” or “When Marcus wasn’t saved he used to…” or “When Sally wasn’t saved she used to…” etc. If you have a good story to tell, roll again. If you don’t have a story you are willing to share, your turn ends.
Fourth, to win the game you must land on all 5 different Heavenbound spaces (in no particular order) and collect the corresponding Heavenbound card each time: (1) visit the church, (2) walk the aisle, (3) pray the prayer, (4) get baptized, and (5) recommit your life. Alternatively, you can win the game if you are the only player remaining who has not yet gone to Hell (someone has to win). If you land in any of the Go To Hell squares, you must go directly to Hell unless you have a Heavenbound card to discard. If you land on Go To Hell without any Heavenbound cards, you automatically lose the game.
But no matter who goes to Hell in the game, everyone who shares a story of the pre-salvation days is a winner. So, get your copy of When I Wasn’t Saved today!
If you like When I Wasn’t Saved, you may also want to try some of our other conversational games including, If I Wasn’t Saved, If I Wasn’t Married, If I didn’t Have Kids, and If There Was No God. Look for these and other fine Christian conversation starters wherever Bibles are sold.
18 April, 2008
On the surface Eastboro's theology seems almost identical to that of Westboro's. Both churches hold protests all over the country. Both focus heavily on God's hatred of sinners. Both rarely if ever mention Jesus Christ. And both believe they are the only church the world preaching the gospel. But there are some fundamental differences between the two churches as Eastboro's pastor, the Reverend Fred Whelps pointed out to TBNN.
"We're so fundamental we protest ourselves" said Whelps. "When we read the Bible we understand that God hates everyone and that no one is going to be saved at all since no one can perfectly obey God. Therefore everyone, including us, is going to hell and there's nothing anyone anywhere can do to stop it. This is the good news of the gospel."
Accordingly, Whelps has a very low view of the members of Westboro Baptist Church, citing some of the inconsistencies in their beliefs and practices.
"Fred is a pansy," stated Whelps. "He says that we are supposed to rejoice in everything God does. He holds up his signs that read 'Thank God for Dead Soldiers,' which we totally agree with, but then he gets on television and says of John Kennedy Jr. 'I hated to see the guy die.' What hypocrisy!"
Whelps believes that the only hope for people like Phelps and others is to realize that there is no hope and try to obey God as best they can.
"If people just try the best they can they'll still go to hell of course," said Whelps. "But perhaps in trying to do what's right they'll be spared from the deepest parts of hell which are the hottest."
17 April, 2008
The production of Sunday School Musical has been in the works for over a year now since Children's Ministry Director Olivia Cowell joined the church staff last year. With a production budget of just over $96,000, the show promises to be of the highest quality.
"We've really worked hard on this," said Cowell. "We auditioned a lot of kids from our congregation and even some from other churches to make this work out. But in the end we only chose the most talented of children. We wanted to really show what the ideal Sunday School should be like in a church."
Tickets go on sale this Friday for Saturday night's opening show. Prices range from $20 to $150. Call the Destiny Church office for more details.
16 April, 2008
Tetzel's Pretzels are the most twisted pretzels on the market today. And at just $20 per bag, they're a real bargain. Plus with every bag you buy you'll not only get great flavor, but you'll also free a soul from Purgatory! That's right, every bag of Tetzel's Pretzels you buy comes with a "get out of purgatory free" card that can be used for any of your loved ones or saved until after you die to avoid years, if not centuries of purging.
So pick up a bag of Tetzel's Pretzels today. And remember When the flavor of a Tetzel Pretzel in the mouth sings, another soul from Purgatory springs!
14 April, 2008
The issue centers mainly around the churches new praise band leader, Perry Kirkwood who began work at the church in January of 2008. Kirkwood replaced the former director, Aaron Milner who had served in the position since 1980. Under Milner's direction the church began to incorporate more contemporary music styles, adding in drums, percussion, more choruses and easy pop-like worship songs. Treadwell remembers it well.
"I was like 12 or 13 when brother Milner came. He caused a lot of stir in the church at first, but I really liked it. I remember the first Sunday we didn't use hymnbooks and were able to look up on the projection screen, which was a whole lot easier. After that church didn't seem so boring anymore, I actually kind of liked going."
But since Milner's departure and Kirkwood's taking the reigns many people around the Treadwells' age have been voicing their displeasure with some of the worship style changes and musical choices.
"We don't sing any of the old-timey praise choruses anymore," said Treadwell. "I remember when we'd sing Lord, I Lift Your Name on High, and As the Deer, but we're not doing any of those kind of songs anymore. And we haven't sung anything from Petra in months now. All we're doing now is these crazy new songs that sound like they were written by heavy metal bands."
Others at the church are expressing similar sentiments along with Treadwell. Eric Hinson, another middle-aged life-long church member commented to TBNN.
"I suppose maybe the young people like this stuff or something, but I want my old-fashioned praise songs back. I mean, there's some songs where we don't even use a synthesizer anymore, it's just electric guitar, bass and drums."
Many have become concerned that this latest trend in worship styles will lead to divisions within the church. Various committees have met to discuss the issue. Two possible solutions include having a "blended service" which will incorporate both old and new contemporary worship styles, or the possibility of having two services each Sunday with an early service being for more traditional contemporary worship and the later service for more contemporary contemporary worship. But it seems that every moment a solution is delayed tensions grow only deeper over the issue.
"I can't bear the thought of leaving Calvary but it's getting to where we just can't worship anymore," said Treadwell. "If something doesn't change soon we'll have to start looking at some more traditional churches that play good old-fashioned music like Amy Grant and Sandi Patti."
12 April, 2008
It's that time again. It is Saturday afternoon and you are beginning to prepare your heart and mind for the Lord's Day. The house is completely in order. You have already prepared enough food for tomorrow (it only needs heating in the microwave.) Everyone in your entire family has ironed his clothes and found matching socks. All Bibles have been found and placed on the foyer table. You have read your Sunday School lesson.
But you know there is one thing more that you must do. The clock is ticking. Will you have enough time? You try not to think about it, but you must... you must... you must... Yes, you must do your tithes.
If doing your tithes makes you cringe, why not let TurboTithe ease your fears? TurboTithe makes calculating tithe simple. Some may even call it fun. The whole process can be explained in 3 easy steps.
First, choose your tithe bracket.
1. Pocket Changer
2. Random Small Bill
3. Random Small Bills
4. Random Large Bill
5. Random Large Bills
6. Approximate Tithe on Net Pay, Large Bills
7. Approximate Tithe on Gross Pay, Large Bills
8. Exact Tithe on Net Pay, Checkbook
9. Exact Tithe on Gross Pay, Checkbook
10. Exact Tithe on Gross Pay plus Benefits, Checkbook
11. Exact Tithe on Gross Pay plus Benefits less retirement contributions not paid by your employer, Checkbook
12. Exact Tithe on Gross Pay plus Benefits less retirement contributions not paid by your employer, plus the net of all the net increases and net decreases in the value of all of your assets (including mutual funds, stocks, bonds, cars, home, furniture, computers, lawn equipment, major appliances, perishable food items, subprime mortgage derivative securities, mint and cummin) minus the net of all net benefits and costs in the value of services you have rendered to the Lord (including meals you have prepared for "Dinner on the Grounds" less the value of the helpings you have eaten or partially eaten, including estimates for various amounts of Honey Baked Hams, Up Yonder Rolls, and green bean casseroles).
13. Same as #12 above, but using "Married Tithing Separately" status to split the values of net increases (decreases).
Second, purchase the TurboTithe Edition that is correct for your needs.
*If your tithing status is 1-5, we suggest TurboTithe EZ Platerattler Edition. This edition comes with free advice on techniques for subtly making noise while dropping money in the plate.
*For categories 6-11, the TurboTithe Advanced Edition is probably best. This edition is only for those of you who have the time to actually obtain, and look at, your pay stub.
*For categories 12 & 13, you must have TurboTithe Beyond the Righteousness of the Scribes & Pharisees Edition. If you know the meaning of the word anise, this is the right edition for you.
Third, download your TurboTithe Edition and answer the step-by-step questions.
That's all there is to it! Make doing your tithes fun. Get TurboTithe today, and never pay a penny more than you have to.
10 April, 2008
"This will allow someone to always have this little book with them wherever they go," said Kurt James, editor for the project. "It can be kept in a purse or in a front pocket next to someone's heart. It fits just about anywhere. So we're not so much worried about people reading it. We want people to be comforted just knowing that they have it with them wherever they go, to remind them that their life has purpose and meaning."
The "book" will be available in a number of styles which include a keychain, metal covered, necklace pendant and a double set as earrings. Also, a special micro-autographed edition will be made available to the first 1000 purchasers.
"If this goes well we can perhaps see more and more of these kinds of books being published," said James. "I know that there have been micro-bibles out there for years, but I can bet you there's never been a micro Zondervan Life Application NIV Bible!"
Zondervan plans to release the tiny Purpose Driven Life this summer about the time most people will be going on vacations and traveling a lot. The cost of the "book" varies depending on the style chosen, but the basic design will sell for $9.95.
09 April, 2008
Click here to listen or right-click and save to download. (mp3)
Reuben, Levi, Simeon, Judah, Joseph, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Benjamin, Gad, Asher, Naphtali.
Onan, Shelah, Perez, Er and, Zerah, Hezron, Hamul, Ram and, Carmi, Achar, Calcol, Dara, Ethan, Chelubai.
Shimea, Salma, Zeruiah, Joab, Ozem, Abinadab, Asahel, David, Raddai
Caleb, Uri, Je-sher, Uri, Hur and Bezalel, Hezron, Machir, Kenath, Aram, Jerahmeel and Onam.
These are the Sons of Israel, no we didn’t write um and we can’t recite um.
These are the Sons of Israel, you can try to count ‘em but you can’t pronounce ‘em.
Bunna, Oren, Jamin, Ram, Jerahmeel and Abishur, Ahban, Molin, Nadab, Ishi, Sheshan, Eker,
Jada, Appaim, Azariah, Peleth, Jarha, Shallum, Elesah, Sismai
Helez, Ahalai, Elishama, Jerahmeel, Hebron, Korah, Tappuah, Shema, Raham, Jorkeam,
Shammai, Ephrathah, Shobal, Regem, Jotham, Solom, Abijah, Elishama, Joram
Japhia, Shenazzar, Malchiram and Pedaiah, Ohel, Neariah, Manasseh and Josiah,
Jezreel, Penuel, Zedekiah, Akkub, Koz, Anum, Zobebah, Families of Aharhel
Chelub, Shuhah, Mehir, Eshton, Tehinnah, Jephunneh, Iru, Tirih and Mered,
Jamin, Hammuel, Mishma, Mibsam, Ezem, Ziklag, Hormah, Jamlech, Joshah, Amaziah
Jaakobah, Ziza, Jeshohaiah, Bilhah, Ishi, Joel, Mishobab and Etam
Pelatiah, Meariah, Hezekiah, Nemuel, Carmi, Janai, Meshulam, Abdiel
Ahi, Michael, Ahitub, Seraiah, Gershom, Haggiah, What else do I have to say?
Merari, Shimei, Samuel and Elkanah, Assir, Tahath, Ebishap, Kohath
Toah, Heman, Eliel, Elkanah and Mahath, Zerahiah, Amzi, Zuph, Ethni, Zerah, Hilkiah,
Libnah, Aaron, Zebulun, Hashabiah, Merari, Zadok, and, Bukki, and Mu-shi, Hilen,
Ashan, Geba, Anathoth, Kohath, Ram and Bileam….
Something…something...Something…something…I can’t take it anymore!!!!
07 April, 2008
The trouble all centers around two small electronic devices, the popular Apple iPod and Microsoft's competition device known as the "Zune." The problems began almost a year ago when the church's Assistant Pastor, Trey Waters, was preaching during the vacation of Senior Pastor Albert Weissen. Waters reportedly used his Zune to make an illustration during the sermon and while doing so he called it "the greatest little electronic device he'd ever seen." This apparently upset a number of people in the congregation who were devout iPod users.
"He had no business saying that," said Erica Pinkerton, a member of the church. "The iPod was out long before Bill Gates and his crew decided to jump in with that flimsily Zune thing. And what kind of stupid name is 'Zune' anyway?"
Upon returning from his vacation word got around to Weissen, a devout iPod user, about what Waters had said. Weissen immediately confronted Waters about the issue informing him that he had offended a number of members in the congregation over his comments and needed to retract them. Waters refused stating that he could "not take back the truth." This apparently did not sit well with Weissen, and so during his first sermon back Weissen decided to do an illustration of his own. The title of Weissen's sermon was "Be not deceived!" during which he held up his iPod and proceeded to show how one could be easily deceived by a "counterfeit" product that claims to be as good but really is "a piece of flashy trash."
While Weissen seemed content with his sermon afterwards it too produced some unexpected consequences. As it turns out a number of people in the congregation had taken Waters' advice and purchased a Zune during the week. Having been pleased with their purchases they too were "deeply offended" by the illustration. As a result the church is now divided almost 50-50 between iPod users who want to follow Weissen and Zune users who want to follow Waters.
"We've got ourselves in quite a mess now," said deacon Martin Thompson, one of the few members who hasn't take any side in the controversy. "We've got to get something worked out here before our church is totally ripped apart."
Upon the completion of this story TBNN has also learned that a small faction of Sony MP3 player users have begun following the youth pastor which brings yet another complicated dimension to the story.
05 April, 2008
"Yes, I know it sounds like the typical revival services, but we are a new church so we are not going to be able to 're' anything. Since this is our first time, they can only be considered 'vival' services," said a proud Mary Lodi, pianist.
Doug Hawkins, part of the men's quartet, heard through the grapevine that Pastor Creedence plans to alter some of the words to the old revival hymns. Hawkins informed TBNN representatives of the potential change and we did some investigation. It appears that two old hymns will indeed be altered as follows:
1. Send a Great Revival in My Soul will be sung as Send a Great Vival in My Soul
2. Revive Us Again will be sung as Vive Us, Amen. The last verse will be altered to: Vive us amen, fill each heart with thy love, may each soul be kindled with fire from above...
Tom Clifford is very excited about the possibility of the Shamgar Vival. He hopes to see some real river baptisms. "I was born on the bayou down in Porterville and we had bayou baptisms all the time. Since the Green River is only 1 block away from the church, we can probably do some baptisms if the moon rises good. This Shamgar Vival is a great idea."
Some people aren't as excited about the Shamgar Vival idea as Clifford. "Call it pretending if you want, but I'm not going to stir up a commotion about the term 'vival', even though I feel the idea is all wrong," said Suzie Quinton. "The Lord is the one that's supposed to vive us in the first place, not the church."
In any case, you might think everyone would be happy to hear that the services will be referred to as a Revival in the Spring of 2009. Yet, there is some controversy. Next year, Shamgar plans to have the services outside.
We asked Ms. Molly Tyler what she thought. "That's unfortunate, son," she said. Then she continued with a string of almost spiritual questions: "If we have services outside, will we have enough facilities? There's a bathroom on the right side of the church, but the lawn is on the left. And besides, have you ever seen the rain on a church service? With our low lying property, who can walk on water?
Has Shamgar got this whole vival thing figured out? Maybe someday we will all see the light? Yet, maybe someday never comes?
04 April, 2008
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03 April, 2008
"Everything was going along just fine, like it usually does" said member Patrica Kline. "The multimedia worship was wonderful and uplifting. Michael the youth pastor flew in to the service and impressed us with a holographic display. Someone sang a wonderful solo of Your Best Life Now and one of our ladies offered an interpretive dance to the story of the rich man and Lazarus. That was all well and good, but then Richie stood up to 'preach' and everything just went nuts."
As it turns out Hermon decided to stand up when he preached rather than reclining on a couch. This immediately made many people feel imposed upon and uncomfortable. The next thing Hermon did that was so shocking was that he actually had a copy of a Bible with him, opening it and reading from it which people also found dogmatic, close-minded and judgmental. After than he then proceeded to read passages from the Bible, commenting on sections of scripture and making application.
"It was the most bizarre spectacle I've ever seen" said Martin Roberts, a member of SFJA. "We all just sat in our seats shocked and dismayed at what was going on. Richie was up there reading from this book and telling people how to live. He was saying things like 'Only in Christ can we be saved' and 'Our words and deeds reflect what's in our hearts.' We just all felt so judged and looked down upon. I even spilled my beer!"
After the service many threatened to leave. Hermon was unavailable for comment.
02 April, 2008
"I don't do no shoddy breakfast," said Patterson. "We've got eggs, biscuits, bacon, ham, french toast, sausage and of course grits. If there's one thing I don't want anyone saying is that they left hungry."
When the breakfast first began it was meant to be a time of fellowship and prayer with the breakfast time set to go from 6:00-6:30 and the prayer time from 6:30-7:00. But over the years as Patterson's menu expanded attendance increased and the breakfast time started running longer and longer.
"Over the past few months we've been starting the prayer time around 6:50 or thereabouts," said long-time prayer breakfast attendee Pat Horton. "I can't remember the last time we started it before 6:45."
Realizing that something needed to change the deacons of Riverwood met recently to decide what needed to happen concerning the breakfast. During the meeting several proposals were made including changing the schedule back to its original time of thirty minutes for breakfast and thirty minutes for prayer. But a number of deacons objected stating that such a move would be impractical as people were now "used to" the current schedule. The idea was also presented to simply lengthen the overall duration of the fellowship and have prayer from 7:00-7:30, but that idea was rejected as "people have to get to work." In the end the deacons decided that the best course of action was to simply drop the "prayer" part of the fellowship altogether and simply call it a Men's Breakfast.
"Sometimes you've just got to deal with what is rather than what should be" said deacon Prentiss Hall. "So from now it will just be a time of Christian fellowship without having to force a bunch of prayer on people."
Since removing the "prayer" element of the breakfast the church has reported that attendance at the "Men's Breakfast" has skyrocketed.
01 April, 2008
Mr. Burns retired three years ago and opened his own pottery shop near the coast. He enjoys spending his days talking with tourists while he spins his wheel and forms new works of art. His life was moving along uneventfully until last week. That's when a lump of clay spoke to him. According to Mr. Burns, "I pulled out a new lump of clay and was about to toss it onto my spinning wheel. That's when the weird thing happened. It just told me what to do. Its exact words were, 'Make sure you make me for honorable use.' Now that scared me a little bit. But it didn't say anything else, so I just did my best and made a nice vase out of it" (see below).
Mr. Burns told us that he immediately contacted the local university, UCSC, but the art department simply did not believe him. Dr. Evelyn Simpson-Wells-Thomas, head of the UCSC art department, told Mr. Burns, "Science has proven scientifically that things like this just can't scientifically happen. Clay scientifically doesn't speak. Miracles don't happen unless we want them to."
Mr. Burns remains convinced of what he heard. "I know what happened that day. I also know what the bible says about this (click here). However, my experience tells me that the clay spoke. There is no doubt about it. He told me what to do. I've never thought of clay as being alive before, but now I have new respect for what I am working with. It's almost like the clay could decide if he wanted to be something honorable or dishonorable. He seemed to have a free will of his own."