Life is a Vapor

This morning, Sunday October 30th, our pastor Kyle Lake was involved in an accident during a baptism and was transported by EMS to a nearby hospital. Kyle Lake passed away around 11:30am. Not only did we lose a pastor but we've lost our friend. Funeral services are pending and we will update the website as soon as we have more information.

There will be a gathering tonight at 8pm at First Baptist Church Waco which is located on the Corner of 5th and Clay. This is a chance for reflection, an opportunity to be with friends and to pray. There will be counselors available if anyone needs to talk to anyone. Please continue to keep the Lake family in your prayers.


Ben Dudley
Community Pastor
University Baptist Church

(marko reported that it seems to have involved an elecrocution)


President Asked to Overturn Chaplain Prayer Restriction

A group of Christian Congressmen led by Congressman Walter Jones have asked for a Presidential Executive Order protecting military chaplains. Several chaplains have been reprimanded for using “overtly Christian language” in public settings. I have had an opportunity to meet with Congressman Jones, who is leading the congressional delegation on this important issue. Congressman Jones related that officers have been criticized and even reprimanded for using Bible verses and invoking the name of Jesus in memorial services. As Congressman Jones correctly noted, this is a First Amendment issue: “Our chaplains should not have any second thoughts about how they should pray. Let their hearts speak with what God puts in their minds to pray.”

Congressman Jones went on to let me know that, so far, they have 35 House members who have agreed to sign a letter to President Bush asking for an Executive Order protecting “the constitutional right of military chaplains to pray according to their faith.” U.S. Senator James Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma, has also pledged his support for the measure.

Part of the issue surrounds the proposed guidelines being introduced by the Air Force that emphasize “nondenominational prayers in military ceremonies.” I have put together a senior team of lawyers from the American Center for Law & Justice to work on this issue. Skip Ash, who has 20 years of experience in the military, including time at the Pentagon, is our lead lawyer working on this issue. We are also seeking to gather support for Congressman Jones’s request for an Executive Order. Our radio broadcast this week will be focusing in on this effort, and we encourage you to add your name to a letter going to the White House urging support for Congressman Jones’s efforts to restore First Amendment freedoms to military chaplains.

From the ACLJ


LJ is blogging again.

Religion vs. Spirituality

“So have you heard of the difference between religion and spirituality?”

“Religion is a guy in church thinking about fishing. Spirituality is a guy out fishing thinking about God.” (Thanks to John Fischer for sharing that in his PurposeDrivenLife Devotional)

That story reminded me of what Mike wrote in his "moments" post. (You owe it to yourself to read the entire post.)

"When every aspect of our lives are lived out enmeshed with the rhythm of God at work in the world even the mundane and simple things of life that seem ordinary and irrelevant explode with life giving meaning."

This theme is part of my talks for the retreat next weekend. I'm going to share this too but still working on making it presentable.

It’s easy to be informed about Christian beliefs and it’s easy to be conformed into doing Christian behavior because we can do those on our own. We want to be transformed by Christ himself through the Holy Spirit; that is the spiritual life.


A Reminder of Our Significance

No matter how insignificant he may have been before, a man becomes significant the moment he has had an encounter with the Son of God. When the Lord lays His hand upon a man, that man ceases at once to be ordinary. He immediately becomes extraordinary, and his life takes on cosmic significance. The angels in heaven take notice of him and go forth to become his ministers (Hebrews 1:14). Though the man had before been only one of the faceless multitude, a mere cipher in the universe, an invisible dust grain blown across endless wastes-now he gets a face and a name and a place in the scheme of meaningful things. Christ knows His own sheep "by name."

A young preacher introduced himself to the pastor of a great metropolitan church with the words, 'I am just the pastor of a small church upcountry.' 'Son,' replied the wise minister, "there are no small churches." And there are no unknown Christians, no insignificant sons of God. Each one signifies, each is a "sign" drawing the attention of the Triune God day and night upon him. The faceless man has a face, the nameless man a name, when Jesus picks him out of the multitude and calls him to Himself.

A.W. Tozer


So much to write - so little time

1. Talked to Ginger via IM yesteday. I had talked to her about trying to write a lesson for TastyFaith and I want to but the time is oh so precious these days. I still want to do it but other things are taking the priorities as this time.

2. I'm leaning heavily to becoming an Army Chaplain. Hopefully all the hoops will be jumped through and I can start Chaplain Officer Basic Course in June. I am going for the Army over the Air Force because I want to be a real soldier!

3. Today I weighed myself and I have lost 40 pounds in 2.5 months. Amazing what eating right, working out 1.5-3 hours per day, taking supplements, drinking only water and having a desire to lose it can do for you. I can qualify at the high end if I lose only 6-8 more pounds but I'm shooting for 33-40 more.

4. I'm speaking at a retreat in Pennsylvania the first week of November. It's the Jr. High retreat for Manheim Brethren In Christ. I led a volunteer training event for them about 2 years ago, so it was cool to get a call to serve them again.


FREE-bay (plus S&H)

This is the first of a few books I'd like to give away, if you supply the Shipping.

You are bidding on an autographed copy of PostModern Youth Ministry by Tony Jones. (I had Tony sign it a couple of years ago when he came to my church for Post-Modern Youth Ministry Forum so I could eventually give it away.) Bidding means you e-mail me @ SnaveNel at AOLcom tell me that you want it and are willing to pay $3.50 for priority mailing and if your name is drawn, I'll send it to you.


Air Force Withdraws Paper for Chaplains

Since I'm looking into becoming an Air Force Chaplain, this interested me.

The Air Force, facing a lawsuit over alleged proselytizing, has withdrawn a document that permitted chaplains to evangelize military personnel who were not affiliated with any faith, Pentagon officials said yesterday.

The document was circulated at the Air Force Chaplain School until eight weeks ago. It was a "code of ethics" for chaplains that included the statement "I will not proselytize from other religious bodies, but I retain the right to evangelize those who are not affiliated."

Full article


Thanks Andrew!


Christian Children in China Refuse to Deny Jesus

. . . . . Upon arrival at the police station, the children marched bravely into the interrogation room still singing, "In the name of Jesus, we have the victory."

This was not the cowering group of children the police interrogator had anticipated! He began to threaten the children, telling them they would have to write "I do not believe in Jesus" one hundred times before he would release them. Instead, the defiant children wrote, "I believe in Jesus today. I will believe in Jesus tomorrow. I will believe in Jesus forever!" . . . .

Read the entire press release from Open Doors Ministries.

Wow! At least American children's ministries have cool rooms and singing veggies. This also puts the Red Sox down two games into an even better perspective.


I'm a Volunteer Youth Worker, Again

I went to the monthly youth worker meeting with our new church tonight. I've known the youth pastor since we moved into town. He's still in youth ministry after 20 years and we connect well with each other.
I'm working with the 9th grade. I'm looking forward to getting to know a few of the guys and beginning a relational ministry with them. It should be fun to be a volunteer. One of the hoops that I have to jump through for the chaplaincy is I have to be ordained and endorsed by a faith group. Our new church is going to help with both of those. Hopefully the ordination process can begin in about 3-4 months.
I've had an idea for a book on the back burner for over a year now. I'm hoping to polish off the proposal over the next month and finally send it in. I envision it being a practical guide to define, develop and deepen a relational ministry with students. I think being a volunteer will provide a better perspective as I flesh it out.


My Favorite New TV Show

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