Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Top 10 reasons why men should NOT be ordained

10. A man's place is in the army.
9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.
8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be "unnatural" for them to do other forms of work.
7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.
5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.
4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father's Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.
1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.

(taken from the blog Emerging Women.)

Just to let you know, I am all for the ordination of women. If you want to know why, ask me.

Monday, June 26, 2006


It is amazing to watch a child of 16 months hopping around your house – and to hear him trying to say “Opa”.

We could never have imagined this years ago when we were getting to know each other and making the choice to spend our lives together.

This morning my wife Cyndi mentioned that Jeremiah (that’s his name) imitates movements she makes with her face. And he even has taken over her “Okie Dokie”.

I wonder what he is picking up from me.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Like a river glorious, is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth, fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth, deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

("Like a River Glorious", written by Francis Havergal, Music by James Mountain)

I needed this this morning. Beautifully sung, via internet streaming radio.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Olaf's Wife

Olaf is talking to his neighbor, Sven, and Sven asks how Olaf's wife is doing.

Olaf shakes his head.

"I dunno," he says. "I think she's dead."

"What are you talking about?" Sven says. "Why do you THINK she's dead?"

Olaf says, "Well, the sex is the same, but the dishes are starting to stack up."

A joke from the film "A Prairie Home Companion".

A live Public Radio program that is immensely populair.

Full of music and jokes from rural America - Minnesota, to be exact. Populated by Norwegian immigrants who, as the story goes, settled in Minnesota having forgotten why they left Norway.

Garrison Keillor is a fantastic story teller.

He makes you laugh and cry and think about your youth - what went right and what went wrong.

Because all of us had things that went right and wrong.

The trick is to learn to laugh and cry about them.

P.S. An alert reader sent this joke in, also from the same movie:
Lefty: What did the elephant say to the naked man?
Lefty: What?
Lefty: That's cute, but can you breath through it?

Monday, June 19, 2006


Yesterday I spoke at a church service that was entirely focused on children. They had set up the church to look like a campground, and the theme was "Friendship". Even though I am not at my best with small children, is was fun to do and I enjoyed it.

It's not easy to think of how to be clear, simple and practical in getting something across to kids.

What I finally did was this: God is really your best friend. But you can't see Him, you can't feel Him touch you. (When I asked the kids if they could hear Him, a couple of them said yes! I was expecting a "no"across the board. O ye of little faith and restricted to your own experience...)

But He has given you other people - and when you see, hear and feel them, you are feeling God.

When I gave the blessing, I asked everyone to take the hand of the person next to them to make that connection.

A number of adults commented afterwards that that was a very helpful perspective for them.

Probably every sermon should be a kid's sermon.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Jesus' words about taking a log out of your eye take on a whole new meaning these days.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Today I ran across the first Music Video ever made.

At least, that's what George Harrison says at the beginning of the video.

The song, written in 1966, is called Rain.

It was also one of the first songs to be sung backwards. That was creative, new and exciting in that time.

They are enjoying the music immensely - and of course everything else that comes with rock stardom.

When I see and hear this I have a deep desire to be as creative as possible with my life - also, and maybe especially, in the church. And to enjoy just as much.

Watch and listen. Enjoy!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Proud Uncle

I can boast about more things than my own children and grandson.
These paintings were done by the daughter of my sister (Audrey Van Dyken - and I am embarassed to admit I don't know exactly how old she is. 16, I think.) who is living in Johannesburg.

My wife Cyndi and I have all of our parents yet, except for Cyndi's mother. We are not yet the oldest generation.

But it is amazing to realize that you are old enough to have a niece who can paint like this.

Friday, June 09, 2006


I don't know how it is where you are, but here in Holland it is hot!

This is a photograph by Usher Fellig, better known as Weegee (from Ouija Board).

Weegee's photos (taken in New York in the 30s) of crime scenes, car-wreck victims in pools of their own blood, overcrowded urban beaches and various grotesques are still shocking.

A famous quote of his is:

When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track.

A minister feels the same way.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


He meant it as a joke, of course.

And this is also just a slip of the tongue.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


A short piece about Pentecost, a day that gets little attention in our churches.

I have been impressed the last while with the idea that God's Spirit has been poured out on all people. I didn't grow up with that idea.

But it gives a tremendously positive approach to life.

For example:

Someone is a very friendly person.
Someone is faithful for many years to his or her partner.
Someone sacrificially cares for a sick mother in law.
Someone is patient for many years with a partner who can give nothing in return.

(To be clear: it doesn't matter to me if this person is a "christian" or not. And I assume that the motives of this person are somewhat decent. This is not about someone who cares for his sick mother in law in order to guarantee that he gets the inheritance.)

Where does someone get what it takes to do this?
(Our society would say that it comes from within yourself. OK, but what if you can't do it anymore?)

I think there can only be two possible sources for these kinds of actions:

The devil.
Or the Spirit.

It seems pretty clear to me which it is.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Roland Garros

I'm a big fan of tennis. I tennis at least once a week, and I watch the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbeldon and the New York Open. Tennis is as much a mental game as a physical game. It demands a lot of you.

I didn't know that Roland Garros was a French airplane builder and war hero.

He flew alone non-stop across the Mediterranean Sea in a single engine aircraft. When he landed, he only had a couple of liters of fuel left.

In the First World War he joined the French army and "after several missions he decided that shooting and flying at the same time was too difficult, so he fitted a machine gun to the front of his plane so the tasks became one and the same. In order to protect the propeller from the bullets, he fitted metal wedges to the prop."

He was shot down twice, the second time cost him his life.

I don't know what that has to do with tennis.

Probably something about being a hero.

Friday, June 02, 2006


There is a videoclip going around the net showing the professional juggler Chris Bliss juggling three balls to the song Golden Slumbers from the Beatles album Abbey Road.

Jason Garfield parodies that juggling act by juggling FIVE BALLS to the same tune (turn your volume up!).

Once there was a way to get back homeward

Once there was a way to get back home

Sleep pretty darling do not cry

And I will sing a lullabye

Don't you Baby Boomers just love it?!!!

Remember Paul's bare feet??!!!!