City Business Church

It is not by grace that one enters the kingdom of heaven, but by tithing. - Damazio 3:16

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Location: Washington DC, United States

Sunday, July 31, 2005

WORD STUDY

I would like to study the word AGAIN. Sometimes people on this blog misuse the word AGAIN and I would like to help clarify what it really means. First I will use it in a sentence and then we can disect that sentence and see if we can all come to an agreement on what it means: Here is your sentence: (taken from a comment by Cattle List) "RP, you call me an idiot once more and I'm gonna kick your skinny ass again." Let’s look at the definition of the word AGAIN (from www.dictionary.com) AGAIN: 1. Once more; anew: Try again. 2. To a previous place, position, or state: left home but went back again. 3. Furthermore; moreover: Again, we need to collect more data. 4. On the other hand: She might go, and again she might not. 5. In return; in response: paid him again. As we can all see, the word AGAIN implies doing something that you have done before. In order for this statement to be true, the author would have had to previously kick RP’s ass. I happen to know RP rather well, and he is having a hard time remembering ever having his ass kicked. Maybe what you meant to say was "RP, you call me an idiot once more and I’m gonna push your skinny ass again." Or perhaps "…I’m gonna chase your skinny ass again." I must admit that I have had my "ass" both pushed and chased, but never kicked. Now lets look at another word and sentence: "No, the problem is that you [Cattle List] are an idiot." IDIOT:(also from http://www.dictionary.com/.com) 1. A foolish or stupid person. 2. A person of profound mental retardation having a mental age below three years and generally being unable to learn connected speech or guard against common dangers. I don’t think it is possible to describe you any better than definition #2. It clearly was written with you in mind. In fact I find it so funny that I’m going to write it again: IDIOT: A person of profound mental retardation having a mental age below three years and generally being unable to learn connected speech or guard against common dangers. (Cattle List, it would only be fair for me to let you post a response on the front page of this blog, so if you are interested in telling the "ass kicking" story or simply wanting to have your chance to reply, please email it to me @ mortonjp14@hotmail.com and I will post it for you. I want you to know that we may be harsh, but we are also fair)

An open letter to my Ipod

Okay, this blog is getting kind of heated. And in the interest of calming everyon down, I'm going to post something that has nothing to do with City Bible. I recently bought an Ipod shuffle, and while I love it. There are a few quirks. I posted my thoughts on craigslist.org, and they made the "best of" section. JP thought it was funny enough for the blog, so here we go. My Ipod Shuffle thinks I'm Gay Dear Ipod: After spending a few weeks with you, I am beginng to fear you think I am a gay man. (of course, not that there's anything wrong with that) I recognize that there are several up tempo dance songs on my playlist, along with a few Madonna and Britney Spears tracks. However, I am curious why whenever I choose the shuffle mode, you select these songs and these songs only to play. I like Madonna, I do... I just don't need 10 consecutive hours of her. And yes, the Pet Shop Boys are fun, but I don't really want to hear "West End Girls" on a 30 minute loop. The first time I thought it was just a coincidence, but lately I have been wondering if perhaps you think I spend my entire day singing and dancing like some flamboyant queen or like Ellen on that ridiculous American Express commercial. (Again, not there's anything wrong with that)... ummmm, because I really don't dance and sing that much, and sometimes just like to listen to a depressing song about suicide. Anyway, if there is any chance you could include a little Wilco or Arcade Fire, next time you choose the mix, I would be very appreciative. Sincerely, -Your Listener

Friday, July 29, 2005

A crime of passion

The following is a section of questions on City Bible's application for camp counselor. All potential counselors must fill out an application. HISTORY OF LEGAL INVOLVEMENT Have you ever been convicted of criminal offense? "Yes "No, if yes explain________ Have you ever been involved in homosexual activity? "Yes "No, if yes explain_______ Have you ever been charged with child abuse or neglect? "Yes "No, if yes explain________ Once again, lets play... which of these is not like the other.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I would have been a CBC’er, had it not been for CBC.

I hate bumper stickers. They annoy me. I think it’s that every time I try to read one I only can see part of it. Then I find myself chasing someone all around town trying to figure out what the punch line is. Of course it’s never funny and that makes me angry. However this morning on the way into work I saw one I liked. I didn’t really like the sticker, but I liked what it said. It was a quote by Ghandi. I know very little about Ghandi and maybe he says things like this all the time, but it was new to me. The sticker read: I like your Christ but not your Christians, they are not like your Christ. – Ghandi This was a good quote, but I found an even better one online “I would have been a Christian, had it not been for Christians” – Ghandi. I said before that I don’t know much about Ghandi, but I think I like him. I’ve often said “I hate Christians”, but that causes a lot of problems for me. I think when Ghandi makes those statements what he’s really saying is “I hate Christians”, but he’s doing it in such a nice, Christ-like way. This blog could probably learn a lot from him.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What not to bring?

City Bible's Summer Camp is coming up in August. They have a brochure they sent out to all the campers, explaining the details of the camp. In the brochure is a section explaining what not to bring to camp. WHAT NOT TO BRING

  • firearms, knives, weapons...
  • firecrackers
  • alcohol
  • drugs
  • walkmans, cd players, radios,
  • secular music

Which of these is not like the other?

Monday, July 25, 2005

You thought City Bible was bad...

According Jack Bogdanski and his blog the Catholic church has decided to add their parishoners as defendants in a sex abuse lawsuit. The Catholic church is being sued for allowing its priests to molest children, and instead of just settling the case, the church is now making all of its parishoners defendants. Someone better warn Samuel John Klein. Jack has some pretty interesting observations: Is causing further anxiety and outrage on the part of rank-and-file Catholics the latest archdiocesan strategy? Is the idea now to try to get the folks in the pews all upset at those evil, evil former altar boys who dare to point their fingers at the priests who molested them as children? Jack further argues that the parishoners/defendants could concede the case, and thus force the Catholic church to pay the accusers. In a sense saying, "Stop using us as a shield, Archbishop Vlazny. Take your lumps, pay our debts, and let's get it over with. Mortgage some property and sell some more, and settle these cases. "You guys screwed up. People's lives were ruined. Don't make it worse by hassling all us little people over it." It probably wouldn't have much legal consequence. But it wouldn't seem at all inconsistent with something a very bright man once said: "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied."

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Gen Unleashed 2005 - Preemptive Post

Its Sunday, and I haven't posted in a while, which means JP is probably sitting at home fuming over my lack of dedication to the blog. So in an effort to head off an angry phone call, I am going to discuss my favorite website: www.genunleashed.com They recently posted comments from kids who attended the 2005 Gen Conference. Nothing pleases me more, than reading these comments. I love 'em. Anyway a couple of them caught my interest, so here are my reactions to the Gen Unleashed comments. Jordan - Generation Unleashed acts as a Furnace or Catalyst that speedily puts us in a place of surreneder and openess to what the spirit is doing. A catalyst that puts us in an open place to experience the awesome heart of God and forever be changed. - GU 2005 Is Jordan mocking me? I totally think he's mocking me. This is GU's way of getting back at this blog... to which I say, "Touche, Gen Church Ministries... ...touche." Gabe - Today, my first day back in school, people were amazed, and kept asking me what I was on. I told them it was the Holy Spirit. - GU 2005 Highschool kids really are that stupid. The kids probably asked Gabe where they could score some "Holy Spirit". I remember getting back from these functions, and people would be like, "Wow you're so happy. What happened?" And I'd be like, "I just got to spend 5 days away from my family. Five whole days. It was the best... oh, thank you Jesus, ...Praise the Lord." Cassie - I attend Willamette University, an extremely liberal school and have been afraid to say things at times when prompted. Doug's sharing of the testimony regarding involvement in Measure 36 really convicted and encouraged me. - GU 2005 If you think its difficult to be a Christian in a liberal school, then you should probably be sympathetic to what its like to be gay. You don't have to support homosexuality, but you should probably still accept them. And if you speak out against homosexuality, but ignore the million other sins your classmates are committing, well, its kind of hypocritical. Also, I attended Willamette as well, and yes its liberal. But almost all colleges are liberal. You know why, because its full of 19-22 year old kids who are away from home for the first time. I remember my first day at college, and the Resident Advisor was like, "Listen there aren't a lot of rules here. Basically, please don't break the law. Please don't break any of my stuff. And for the love of all that is sacred and holy, "Please, no fornicating in the hallway." I didn't really understand that rule, until my roomate came home from a party one night with some girl and they started having sex in the bed right next to mine. I promptly kicked them out of the room and sent them to the hallway. I figured, "better the hallway, than right next to my face." Glenn - I love your band and I think that Jeremy Scott and Donna Lasit are awesome! - GU 2005. I'm pretty sure Jeremy Scott wrote this one. Alright, well great... that's my post for the day... good times... good times... (Oh and all the stuff about my family and JP. Its all a joke. I love my family. And me and JP aren't really fighting. Its just funnier when I write it that way.)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Higgins and Osteen sittin' in a tree...

Let’s pray: Our Father who meets in the Compaq Center, Hallowed be Your name Your New Stadium come, Your will be done On earth as it is in Houston Give us this day a Mercedes-Benz And give us Your debts, as You have given us your debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from poverty. For Yours is the Kingdome and the Staples Center and Madison Square Garden forever. Amen.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Compaq Center

There is an article in today's NYT about Samuel John Klein's best friend, Joel Osteen. Apparently, Joel and his church just moved into the Compaq Center in Houston. The article isn't that interesting, but there is one quote that stands out. Mr. Osteen's rationale for spending $95 million on a church rather than on ministering to the poor was typically upbeat. "My philosophy," he said, "is that that $95 million will be nothing compared to what we'll do when we have 100,000 people." Somehow, I don't believe him.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I still love God, but I've Lost Faith in the Black Church.

There is an incredible article in the Washington Post this morning. The author, a black man from Chicago, shares why he feels disconnected from church. I challenge you to read the entire article, but here are some excerpts: I love God and I love the church. I know church-speak and feel as comfortable shouting hallelujahs and amens and lifting my hands in the sanctuary as I do putting on my socks. I have danced in the spirit, spoken in tongues, and proclaimed Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior. Yet, I now feel disconnected. I am disconnected. Not necessarily from God, but from the church. The church seems to have turned inward. It seems to exist for the perpetuation of itself -- for the erecting of grandiose temples of brick and mortar and for the care of pastors and the salaried administrative staff. Not long ago, a preacher friend confided: "The black church is in a struggle for its collective soul -- to find itself in an age when it is consumed by the God of materialism." But even in an age of preacher as celebrity, it is not the evolution of a Bling Bling Gospel that most disheartens me. It is the loss of the church's heart and soul: the mission to seek and to save lost souls through the power of the Gospel and a risen savior. As the homicide toll in black neighborhoods has swelled, I've wondered why churches or pastors have seldom taken a stand or ventured beyond the doors of their sanctuaries to bring healing and hope to the community -- whether to stem the tide of violence and drugs, or to help cure poverty and homelessness or any number of issues that envelop ailing black communities. I'm pretty sure that if the author crossed out "black" and replaced it with "white", "hispanic" or "asian" he would be just as accurate. Update - Monday 7:00 am: As of this morning, this article was the second most emailed article from yesterday's Sunday Post. Makes me think we're not alone in our beliefs.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Page Six

I apologize for not posting much this week. I recently got a new job and am trying to make a good impression with my boss. I expect this will last about another week, and then I'll be back to checking the blog hourly and reading every page on espn.com and craigslist. In the meantime, allow me to share some gossip and clarify a misunderstanding. Apparently, the business community at City Bible believes this blog was set out to attack them personally. This could not be further from the truth. At the risk of offending our resident anti-consumer Nader-voter (Jiminy Cricket), me and JP are big believers in business and money. We both work hard every day to make money, and we would love to have a successful business. We're not attacking business, we're attacking a church that runs itself like a business. Anyway, apparently City Bible is beginning to feel a backlash from their Business Leaders. The leaders are feeling manipulated. They feel the church expects them to be fundraisers. They feel City Bible values them because of their money and nothing else. (You think?) They feel used. Side note and blind item: Which long time BT/CBC business member is privately fueding with Pastor Frank? This all goes to support our claim that the problem with City Bible isn't the individuals who attend the church. It's the mindset of the leadership. A mindset that places an inappropriate emphasis on money, and a leadership that uses Christ's grace for fundraising purposes. (not cool).

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Oh FB...FB... Where are you?

It’s the comments that keep bringing me back. I would like to discuss a comment that was posted after the wonderful song I am an A… Let’s recap the song and then I’ll give you the comment. I am an A. I am an A-S I am an A-S-S-K-I-S-S-E-R And I will T-I-T-H-E to my home church C-B-C Or God will C-U-R-S-E me for all Eternity I am an A… This is what Financial Blessings had to say about the song. (Here’s your 15mins buddy) I'm torn in two; on the one hand, I loved the song; on the other hand, it's really bad. Shame on your poopy mouth. It's full of poop. Shame. Poop.I may be an asskisser, but I want a prophet's reward. Kinda like the Centurion (US Soldier) in occupied Israel (Iraq) asked Jesus (a dirty Iraqi) to heal his servant (the platoon chef). In the modern vernacular, that's prime A Ass kicking goodness. But that's a kingdom reality. Ass kissing involves two kingdom postures. The first is kneeling, the second is kissing a part that you don't deem holy. PRIDE won't wash feet. PRIDE won't die to rights and opinions and serve another mans vision. PRIDE will criticize from a distance. This leads me to a few (serious) questions: 1. Do you think you can earn a “prophet's reward” by tithing? 2. What is a “prophet's reward”? 3. How do you earn it and when do you get it? 4. Did you really just call Jesus a “dirty Iraqi”? (I don’t think racists qualify for the “prophet's reward”. Sorry dude.) I would really like to hear from FB on what this all means. I’m sure he knows what he is talking about. I would think a “prophet's reward” might be reserved for a prophet, but I don’t know; I guess I’m kinda old school that way.

The Answer is…

I know it didn’t make sense, that’s why they always put the answer in the back of the book. Let’s all turn to the pretend back of the book and see that the answer is… C – The Gays. The story goes like this. Catalyst is in hanging out in Central America with the CBC crowd and he’s talking with someone who works for one of CBC’s political sister companies (Oregon Family Council, I believe). This guy is telling him how he’s tired of having to react every time “the Gays” do anything. They put out an email, he puts one out. They hold a rally, he starts painting signs. When Catalyst was telling me this story it occurred to me that we do the same to City Bible. They advertise a conference, we write a post. They start a campaign, we write a post. They preach a sermon, we write a post. Yes, all we do is write posts, but we are working with a very small budget (the F.U. campaign hasn’t brought in as much cash as we had originally projected). We talked briefly about a Defense of Grace Campaign (DOGC), but quit when we realized the commitment it would take.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hate-Filled Site????

Recently, my close companion Anonymous, asked “what personal vendetta does the person(s) who birthed this hate-filled site have against the church?”. Well Anony, to help you understand this “hate-filled” site I’ve created this little quiz. Try this analogy*: The Morton Boys: City Bible :: City Bible : ____________ A. STANDING IN THE GAP B. APPLE C. THE GAYS D. YOU GUYS ARE SO STUPID. I’M NOT TAKING THIS QUIZ. I would like everyone to take this quiz very seriously. I’ll post the answer later (Hint: One of those choices actually is a real answer). *For those who went to TCHS I'll help translate for you. Read the quiz as follows: The Morton Boys are to City Bible as City Bible is to _______.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sermon Recap

Johnpaul (RP) called me today, and informed me that I have not been pulling my weight on the blog. This sounded a little odd, coming from a guy who's dedication to the blog is in direct proportion to his wife's mood. When JP's wife is happy, I get long phone calls discussing all the things we should write on the blog. When she's not happy, I get short phone calls from JP, who is usually in his backyard whispering into the phone. Nevertheless, I haven't written that much lately. So, I sat down to listen to Mr. Damazio's latest sermon. Entitled: Growth - There's More. I guess Mr. Damazio will be spending the next two months talking about personal growth. There's not a chance in hell I'm listening to all these sermons, but I figure to make JP happy, I can listen to at least one and then blog my thoughts. Due to some technical glitch, there was only 11 minutes of the sermon available online. I was thrilled. Eleven minutes is definately possible. This I can do. (Note to future pastors. I'm pretty sure eleven minutes is the attention span of the average parishoner. If you want people to remember your speech, keep it short.) Frank starts the sermon talking about growth. He then throws in this odd example of how a mother shouldn't nurse her child, if the child is a teenager. And then mentions that its even odd for a mother to nurse a child when the child is four years old. I have no idea what this has to do with the rest of Frank's sermon, but it reminded me that my mother nursed our brother Joel until he was four. And yes it was weird. It also reminded me that recently when our brother Joel was describing his new girlfriend, he said "She's Mom." To which, JP, who is admittedly not a hipster, asks "What does that mean?" (thinking maybe its some new slang for "hot chick") Joel replies "No, she's just like our Mom. I love our mom, and she's just like her." hmmmm... The lesson here, mothers. If you want your son to develop some weird obsession into his 20's, nurse him until he's four.... ....I recognize this has nothing to do with the sermon, but I thought I'd throw in a little family history. In setting up the sermon, Pastor Frank asked four questions. I'm sure there was more to the sermon, but luckily for me, it cut out after that. So this is all I have to go on. Anyway, I'm going to list the four questions and then my own anwers. Am I becoming the person God wants me to be? Actually, yes I am. I'm not perfect, and I certainly have my faults. But I try to put others first. I try to share Christ's grace and compassion with every one I meet. So, yeah, I think I'm on the right track. Is your prayer life any different now than it was five years ago? I probably prayed more five years ago then I do now. I haven't noticed a difference in my life, due to the lack of prayer. But I'll keep you posted if something comes up. Is your response to authority any different now than it was when you were first saved? I was saved at three years of age. And according to my mother, I didn't like authority back then. Well, I don't really like authority now, either. So, I'm gonna have to say my response to authority is probably the same. Are you being the husband that you should be? Thankfully, I'm not married. So, I don't have to worry about being a good husband, praise the Lord. So that's what I got out of the sermon. Yes, I realize this post is a lot more about me, than about Frank's sermon. But whatever... ...your turn JP.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

50,000

We just recently received visitor number 50,000. According to our tracking service, the visitor came from a computer in the Portland area. I believe the computer is from a local company that deals in surface and design. It appears that not only was this person visitor number 50,000, but he or she was also visitors 49,953 - 49,999. We have some very loyal readers. Me and the pope would like to thank all who visit and comment on this blog. There are a billion websites to visit and yet you choose ours, thank you.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Dear Parents

Here is the letter that City Bible sent to all parents warning them of myspace.com. I love these types of letters and thought you might enjoy reading it as well. Dear Parents We hope that you are enjoying the beginning of your summer and warm weather that the Lord has blessed us with this week! I am writing you to inform you of something that you may or may not be aware of concerning a web site called "myspace.com". Myspace.com is a BLOG. In simple terms it is a site where anyone can post information and pictures of themselves. After the information is listed other young people can post comments like a bulleting board and direct comments to that person. Young people are using this site to communicate with their friends and "have fun". The problem is that the site contains material that is questionable. The web site has no filters or controls over what can be posted or written. On this site you will find nudity, bad language and content that is inappropriate. It has come to our attention that young people from youth ministries and Christian schools all over the area have posted pages. Portland Christian School recently in a letter informed their parents of their concerns for the site and several youth ministries have done the same. We feel that parents should be aware of the site and know if your children have pages on the site. If your child has posted a page we feel that it would be wise to have them remove it. Although they may be innocently commenting and communicating with their friends, they are only a couple of clicks away from inappropriate material. In Christ, Pastor Doug Lasit

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

myspace.com

I got a call from my brother Joel last week. He had just received a letter from CBC which warned of the dangers of “myspace.com”. According to the letter “myspace.com is a BLOG… on this site you will find nudity, bad language, and content that is inappropriate.” Joel is angry because he rather enjoys having a myspace.com site and for some reason feels threatened by this letter. He wants me to write about how stupid this letter is. Well, like any good blogger, I wanted to do research before I rushed to condemn CBC for this letter. What my research revealed may surprise you. On myspace.com I found “nudity, bad language, and content that is inappropriate” (and this was just on Joel’s site.) So based on what I found I would have to agree with CBC, myspace.com does “contain material that is questionable”, sorry Joel. I will say one thing though. If your children have access to the internet then they have access to “content that is inappropriate”. For those who believe they have “protected” their families with Integrity Online: the French word for BOOBIES is POITRINE.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Who Burns First

What amazing timing. Right when I’m posting CBC’s top ten list from "Who Burns First" they release an updated version for 2006. Good news for Samuel John Klein it looks like Catholics have dropped from the list and have been replaced by the dreaded Non-Tither (CBC’s most feared). Here is the new list for 2006: 1. Irreverent Bloggers 2. Gay's (w/aids) 3. Non-Tithers 4. The Poor 5. Aaron Tuck 6. People who drink alcohol in public places* 7. Pregnant Teens and their promiscuous partner. 8. Feminists 9. Those who voted NO on Measure 36 10. Democrats *There is a slight loophole for drinkers. If you only drink on vacation, preferably while you are out of state, you will be exempt from burning. This rule does not apply to other area’s (i.e. – If you get pregnant out of state, you will still burn)