Undercover Pastor

This is my blog on whatever I happen to feel like writing about. I’m not planning on writing every day – probably more every week or two. I hope you like it, but more importantly, I hope it helps you see some part of life in a new way.

Our God Is a Great Big God

My wife woke me up for morning prayer this morning and I went back to sleep.  This was a bad choice because there’s a lot going on in my life and the life of our church right now.   As a church grows, it can no longer connect everyone “automatically.”  It’s a much more conscious and … Continue reading »

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Agree with God and be at peace

I was just reading Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotional for this evening, and it referred to Job 22:21.  In the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version), it says, “Agree with God, and be at peace; in this way good will come to you.”  In the NIV (New International Version), it says, “Submit to God and be … Continue reading »

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The church and the needs of sexual assault survivors

Last week, I attended a “round table” of sexual assault survivors and members of the clergy. The honesty of the six women who had survived sexual assault was extraordinary – and extremely difficult to hear. But the hardest part of what they had to say was the part about how their churches had treated them. … Continue reading »

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Goodbye, Myra

In Memoriam Oscar Myra Mendoza Whitney (Myra) 1994-2008 Last night (April 30), our long-haired miniature dachshund, Myra escaped from the back yard.  When we realized it late last night, I went searching for her in the neighborhood and after about 45 minutes, found her across Jefferson Blvd. (a busy, highway-like street with 4 lanes).  She had … Continue reading »

Categories: Daddy log - parenting, Undercover Pastor | 1 Comment

God works through difficult stuff

I preached on sex, lust, and divorce on Sunday.  Blech! 😛 I knew that I needed to do it, but I sure didn’t like the idea of standing in front of a whole group of people and talking about sex.  Heck, I don’t want to talk to a small group of people about sex.  And … Continue reading »

Categories: Ethics and Holiness, Following Jesus, Pastor to pastor, Preaching, Undercover Pastor | 1 Comment

An exercise in God’s love for YOU

First a word of  introduction.  I had the great pleasure of attending the Bayside Church (of Granite Bay, CA) THRIVE 2008 conference.  It’s nice that such a huge and wealthy church – that could easily hold a world-class conference just for its own leaders – invites leaders from other churches to come and learn and share fellowship … Continue reading »

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A new advisory system – What’s your level?

Tired of the Homeland Security Threat Level or the fire danger level?  Try this.  My level of caffeination (is that a word?) is on the low side today.  Where’s yours? HT: KC Wahe

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Don’t just do what you’re told!

About a year ago, I was at a ministry conference and someone I had been talking to the day before came up to me and said, “I have a message for you, Steve!” “Uh, OK…” I replied. “The message is that you’re ministry is on hold until you can stop caring what people think.” Now, … Continue reading »

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Enough or Too Much?

Johnny had a birthday party for some of his little friends last Saturday. We always struggle with the gift issue.  Eleanor wants to have a “no gifts” party, and I imagine what that would feel like for the kids.  They bring presents to all of their friends’ parties.  Is it fair for them not to … Continue reading »

Categories: Daddy log - parenting, Discipleship - learning from Jesus, Undercover Pastor | 1 Comment

God in the Mess

Last Sunday, many things went wrong in worship at Trinity. Now we’re not one of those churches were everything is polished and perfect, but even we are not accustomed to the sheer number of small things that went wrong, from people being out sick to sound system glitches to bulletin information being wrong.  And you … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Discipleship - learning from Jesus, God's love, Undercover Pastor, Worship | 1 Comment

Who’s my boss?

Eleanor and I were having a conversation over lunch and the topic of the church came up.  I said something about the church not being my church.  Well my son Johnny said, “It is your church, daddy,” “No Johnny,” I replied, “It’s Jesus’ church.  And he’s my boss.” Without skipping a beat, Johnny responded, “He’s … Continue reading »

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Follow Mii?

OK, I’m not a big Nintendo Wii player, but why are people so disturbed by this image of Jesus? Check out a blog entry about Mission Bay Community Church’s attempt to reach people by using the culture. The blog post by “Ryan” at the Two Small Coins blog does a nice analysis. Our church used … Continue reading »

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Botox poisons the brain?

You’ve heard about Botox – the toxin (poison!) that people use to minimize the appearance of wrinkles – to look younger. Well, there’s a new twist. A recent study in rats shows that the toxin that people inject into their foreheads may travel to the brain, damaging the brain stem!  There have also been human … Continue reading »

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Dr. King’s legacy – The work continues

Today is the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. I think everyone in this country owes him a debt of gratitude for raising the consciousness of a nation that has always prided itself on being the land of the free. Well, it’s not over.  Since I’m a white man, people … Continue reading »

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It’s not your battle – Stand still!

Jim Edwards, one of the speakers at the West Coast Presbyterian Pastors’ Conference this week, spent some time this morning talking about various virtues and about how we can make a decision to act in ways that we might not feel yet.  An example for me might be to help clean up the kitchen even … Continue reading »

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“I Am With You”

At our conference today, Jim Edwards has been speaking on a list of Greek words he’s selected from the New Testament in its original language. One of them is a word “proserchomai” (since I don’t have a Greek font), which is the word for people approaching God. He notes that Matthew’s gospel uses this word … Continue reading »

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Getting Real

I’m sitting here in a huge group of Presbyterian Church pastors, and I’m struck by how real these people are! If you’ve heard me preach or have come to my Bible studies, you know that being real is a biggie for me. I think that one of the biggest problems that the Christian Church faces … Continue reading »

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Giant robot to rule International Space Station

OK, I may be exaggerating a bit, but this is how a lot of bad sci-fi movies start out.  A 12-foot tall, 3400 pound robot with 11-foot arms “rose like Frankenstein” to be installed at the International Space Station.  Watch out, guys!  In space, no one can hear you scream. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2008-03-15-space-shuttle_N.htm

Categories: Science, Tech, Undercover Pastor | 1 Comment

Love and Discipline

I was just holding my 6-week-old daughter in my arms.  It was actually a pretty special moment.  She was almost smiling as she gazed into Daddy’s eyes.  But then she started to get sleepy.  And she hadn’t had her pink eye drops yet.  So I held little Lydia as her mother dosed her with the … Continue reading »

Categories: Daddy log - parenting, Early Baby Days, Theology, Undercover Pastor | 1 Comment

Guns, Germs, and Abs of Steel

OK.  There are no guns in this post, but it sounded much cooler with them. I have found the easiest way to get the abs you’ve always dreamed of, and you’re in on the ground floor.  Introducing, Cold and Flu AbsTM Yes, all you need to get that sixpack you’ve always wanted is a preschooler.  … Continue reading »

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