For those of you interested in where Gail and I will be relocating to, here are a few video links to Dry Gulch USA. The vimeo.com links will require you to set up a free Vimeo account – very simple. Hope you enjoy!
A funny thing happened while on vacation…
A few weeks ago while vacationing in Tulsa, OK I had the pleasure of meeting with Pastor Willie George of Church on the Move. I’ve long had a great respect and admiration for him, the church, and the staff. Pastor George presented an opportunity to me to join his staff.
Gail and I have had the privilege and pleasure of serving the people of Word of Grace Community Church for almost 19 years now. We are a deep-rooted couple, generally slow to move. We were sure of God’s call here to Sheboygan County and have never regretted leaving Tulsa. We always enjoyed our visits in Tulsa yet were ready to head home after a short visit. This vacation was different – we were feeling a release in our hearts.
19 years is a long time. We’ve invested a great deal at WOGCC. Bumps along the way, yet overall we have so much to be thankful for. A growing, thriving church; dear friends; a beautiful location. Yet, we knew in our hearts that the Lord was giving us a new assignment.
So, we’ve gratefully accepted these new marching orders and look forward to serving Pastor George by overseeing Dry Gulch USA – an amazing camp and retreat center in Pryor, OK. We’ve made our announcement to our church. Our last Sunday at WOGCC will be August 16, then were off to our new adventure.
Gail and I are in that transition zone right now. We’re exhilerated at how God has been moving and what He has called us to; and yet, we’re aware that we will be saying goodbye to some of our favorite people on Earth over the next couple of months. It’s going to be a very busy time as we work to ensure a smooth transition.
I’m sure I’ll be posting numerous updates about this process. Right now, we’re just grateful and in awe of God moving in our lives and church. WOGCC is enjoying great momentum right now and the people have been extremely supportive. It makes me a proud pastor knowing that though they’re sad to see us go, they’re trusting God and believe the best days for the church are still yet to come.
I’ve been reading a number of great books lately. Two main categories: politics and nutrition. Here are the ones I’d recommend…
Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto by Mark R. Levin. One of the most read and talked about books at present – and for good reason. Man, is this interesting. If you ever wanted to have a clear understanding of the difference between conservatism and liberalism, this will do it for you. Highly recommend. Warning: you may get extremely agitated over what is happening in our country at present when you see through the lens of this knowledge.
New Deal of Raw Deal?: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Had Damaged America by Burton W. Folsom, Jr. Another bit of economic/political history with insight into recent events. Most of us have been indoctrinated with the idea that FDR’s New Deal brought us out of the Great Depression. Not only is that unsubstantiated, but it actually prolonged the depression. The most disturbing news is that Raw Deal II is now playing.
The Maker’s Diet: The 40 Day Health Experience That Will Change Your Life Forever by Jordon Rubin. I actually was given this book a couple years ago but never read it until now. Amazing. If you’ve enjoyed any books by Dr. Don Colbert, you’ll enjoy this as well. Jordan has an amazing personal story of health transformation and the education to make his claims credible. I’ve always believed that God as our Creator established natural laws pertaining to the health we all desire. Although Jordan can sometimes provide a bit more scientific information that I need, he’s extremely helpful and doable in his advice. His websites are extremely informative as well.
Toxic Relief: Restore Health and Energy Through Fasting and Detoxification by Dr. Don Colbert. It may not be good dinner table conversation, but I’m really interested lately in the value of detoxification. This is a great introductory book particularly in your interested in a biblical perspective in conjunction with fasting.
The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps by Brenda Watson. Another very popular book right now on detoxification. Not written from a biblical perspective but extremely informative.
The Ultimate pH Solution: Balance Your Body Chemistry to Prevent Disease and Lose Weight by Michelle Schoffro Cook. As you continue to read nutrition literature, you’ll eventually come across the value of maintaining the proper pH in your body. Most of us – because of our modern diet – have an acidic pH. Not good. Most sickness, including cancer, cannot tolerate an alkaline environment. Just by drinking water with lemon juice will make a big difference. Another book worth reading.
February 28th, 2009 · Whatever
I just watched the movie, Fireproof, this week. I had heard a lot of enthusiastic great comments about it; however, I was honestly a bit hesitant about cheesy acting, etc. I have to admit, it was better than I was expecting. It won’t be an Academy Award winner yet considering that most of the actors and crew were church volunteers, I was impressed. The big points go to the story line, though. I thought they did a good job portraying a marriage on the rocks and the slow and frustrating process to restore it. I’ve seen this story too many times in the real lives of people I know.
The bonus was The Love Dare. I hadn’t heard anything about this. We even had the book in our church bookstore and I knew nothing about it. In the movie, it was the catalyst for motivating the husband who’d given up on his marriage to reignite his love for his wife and ultimately win her back. It consisted of a 40 day challenge to each day act according to a biblical principle in demonstrating unconditional love.
I got a copy this week and I’m enjoying it. I figured if it could resurrect a dead marriage, it could only take a great marriage and make it even better. So, I’m recommending you check it out no matter how you would describe the quality of your marriage. And if you haven’t seen the movie, I think it would be worth your time.
February 10th, 2009 · Books, Technology
The new Kindle 2 was announced by Amazon yesterday. I’ve been wanting a Kindle since late summer but decided to wait until the next model. Now that Kindle 2 will be available Feb. 24, I want one even more. Rumor has it that Amazon may make Kindle books available for the iPhone. That gets my attention but I’m just not sure I’d want to read for hours on my iPhone. Now I’ve just got to come up the $359. My birthday is coming up. Maybe I could start a Kindle fund for me through Facebook.
January 22nd, 2009 · Church, Spiritual growth
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Colossians 3:23 (ESV)
I recently watched a show on the History Channel called Secret Access: Air Force One. It was a fascinating look at what is involved in flying the President of the United States. This particular show focused on a trip to Africa a few years ago. Hundreds are involved in advance security teams; numerous other aircraft transporting limousines, fuel, and other supplies; and of course, the incredible staff that supports Air Force One.
As intriguing as the complex operations were, what I found most inspiring was the attitude of the Air Force One staff. Everyone – the pilots, the communications team, the maintenance crew, the kitchen crews, the stewards – all without exception spoke as if what they did was the greatest privilege and honor. The goal was to do their job to perfection and to represent their President and country with the highest excellence.
Oh, how I’ve often wished the local church would operate with this same sense of duty and privilege and excellence! We serve Someone much greater than any President. It’s not an issue of facilities or finances; it’s a heart attitude. Using all that we have and all that we are to the very best in honor of our King.
Do a personal inventory. Do you settle for mediocrity in the church because “ahhh, that’s good enough.”? Do you get ruffled when the pastor or staff leader changes plans after you’ve already put in a bunch of time and preparation that now seems wasted? Do you regularly show up to serve at church late, unprepared, or with a less than serving attitude? How would that compare to your service and attitude if you had the privilege of working for the President? For the Lord Himself?
It’s not just at church. It’s everything we do as a follower of Christ. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord.
January 19th, 2009 · Blogging
Every so often, Kent Shaffer of ChurchRelevance.com posts an amazing blog entry that is well-researched and is extremely interesting and helpful. His post today, Top 60 Church Blogs, is one of those and worth checking out. I’m constantly on the look out for great Christian blogs. This list is a gold mine. I’ve been having a blast checking them out.
January 17th, 2009 · Blogging
When I decided to enter the blog sphere almost a year ago, the first decision was which blogging tool would I use. I opted for the open source WordPress.org because it was so highly recommended and offered maximum flexibility. It was a bit adventurous for a newbie but I was glad I did. Since then, WordPress has offered numerous upgrades. I believe in keeping up with software upgrades, yet I kept putting it off because I was concerned about compatibility with the theme I’d chosen, various plugins, etc.
Today, I took the plunge. It stretched my comfort zone but I did it. With a few customization tweaks, a bit of trial and error, I upgraded everything. Even though all benefits were totally behind the scenes, it is a huge relief to me. And, a bit of a rush – kind of an “I conquered the software!” guy thing.
It’s really more of a tribute to the WordPress community for an amazing piece of software. I’m still glad I chose it for my blogging tool. And, the whole exercise kind of revved my blogging engines again.
January 16th, 2009 · Politics
Dear President Bush:
Well done, Mr. President, well done! I am a pastor in Sheboygan Falls, WI and one of many who are eternally grateful for your leadership these past eight years. You, your family, and administration have been in our prayers constantly. I have been proud to have you as my President.
Thank you for standing tough, governing according to your conscience. Please know there are many who truly appreciate your service. I only wish it were possible for me to personally shake your hand and convey my thanks and respect.
I have three verses of Scripture to offer for your encouragement:
Remember me with favor, O my God, for all I have done for these people.
Nehemiah 5:19 (NIV)
Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
Psalm 86:17 (ESV)
“…no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.
Isaiah 54:17 (NIV)
May God continue to bless you and your family, Mr. President.
With sincere gratitude and respect,
Kirby R. Andersen
To send an encouraging email to President Bush, send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the large volume of e-mail received, the White House cannot respond to every message. Note: Please submit messages in text format only. This inbox is unable to receive e-mails that contain graphics or attachments. After it arrives, you will receive an e-mail confirmation indicating successful delivery.
January 5th, 2009 · Apple, Technology, Time management
I currently have 65 apps on my iPhone counting the standard ones included from Apple. I’ve experimented with quite a few this past year. Some seemed interesting at first but eventually got deleted. Some don’t get used often yet are cool enough to keep around for when might be needed.
I often get asked for my favorites. So here are my top 15 at the moment – and not necessarily in order of priority:
- The Weather Channel. Relatively new and blows away WeatherBug. I’ll still sometimes reference Apples standard Weather app if just wanting to check the temp, but other than that, TWC leaves others in the dust.
- Twitteriffic. Allows me to post not only to Twitteriffic but Twitter and Facebook simultaneously.
- Facebook. For quick peaks to check in on my Facebook friends.
- Clock. I’m referring to the standard app supplied by Apple. I used the alarms section a lot.
- Omnifocus. My iPhone companion to Omnifocus on my Macbook. Expensive but worth it to stay synced with my projects and task management.
- Ambiance. I love this one. Various sounds for sleeping or relaxation.
- Holy Bible. Created by LifeChurch.tv to tap into with YouVersion.com. Provides many translations online and allows a number of versions to be downloaded for offline use. Hint: I prefer using the low light setting. The white text on black background is easy to read in any light.
- Easy Wi-Fi for AT&T. Makes for very fast connection to AT&T wifi at Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, McDonalds – all AT&T hotspots.
- AroundMe. Just recently added and love it. It locates you by your current location and tells you what’s close by. 17 categories including coffee shops, restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hospitals, and (of course) Apple Retail Stores!
- Now Playing. This just keeps getting better. Lists movies at movie theaters near you, movies and DVD’s soon to be released, RottenTomatoes ratings, trailers, etc.
- myLite. A simple flashlight. Really handy – can’t believe how often I use it. Plus it has some other fun effects. My favorite is Rock Concert – it simulates a butane lighter!
- Wikipanion. Invaluable for really smooth access to Wikipedia.
- Sol Free. A free solitaire game. I love solitaire while waiting. It’s relaxing and energizing for my brain.
- Amazon.com. I’m a huge Amazon fan and this app provides quick mobile access to Amazon.com, your wish lists, etc. It even has a feature allowing you to take a picture of something you’d like to purchase. Amazon will do it’s best to research from you picture and provide you with prices and alternatives!
- VoiceRecord. A simple dictation app to capture ideas, whatever. I use a lot while driving.
Most of these are available for the iPod Touch also. What are your favorites?