Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Current Justice League of America

These are the current (2007) members of the JLA: [clockwise from top left] Green Lantern/ Hal Jordan, Wonder Woman/ Diana, Superman/ Kal-El (Clark Kent), Batman/ Bruce Wayne, Black Canary/ Dinah Lance, Red Tornado/ Ulthoon (John Smith), Vixen/ Mari Jiwe McCabe, Red Arrow/ Roy Harper, Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce, Hawkgirl/ Shayera Hol (reincarnation into Kendra Saunders).

Justice League of America

Some of the best (clockwise): Batman, Wonder Woman, "Martian Manhunter" J'onn J'onzz, Aquaman, Superman, the Flash, Green Lantern John Stewart.

Justice League of America

This is one of many "incarnations" of the JLA - including most of my favorite individuals. (From left to right: "the Atom", Dr. Ray Palmer; "Hawkman", Katar Hol of Thanagar, a.k.a. Carter Hall; "Aquaman", Orin, a.k.a. Arthur Curry; "the Flash", could be Barry Allen, who was killed, or his nephew, Wally West; "Wonder Woman", Diana of Themyscira; "Superman", Kal-El of Krypton, a.k.a. Clark Kent; "the Batman", Bruce Wayne; J'onn J'onzz of Mars; "Green Lantern", Hal Jordan; "Green Arrow", Oliver Queen; "Black Canary", Dinah Lance.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How'd I forget that?

Emily left a comment with the quote from Boris, the philospher, "Miserable being must find more miserable being. Then... is happy!" I remembered the quote, but until I did a little Google research just now, I forgot it was from The Lady & the Tramp, which was my favorite movie ever! I'm only 26; I should not forget things like that!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Birth Order Bias

There was a story on the Today show this morning (I couldn't watch it because I had to leave for work) about scientific support of the theory on how birth order affects personality, etc. I was somewhat familiar with this concept, & I would expect you've heard of it, too. I looked it up on Google, which is how you find out things, & there are a lot of places that talk specifically about this theory. I picked the reference to Wikipedia, & it was interesting to read what some have said. I'm the first-born in my family, & I have to say that what they said about the first-born, both pros & cons, sounded like a description of myself. How far can you take this, though? I know several first-borns who are very different from me, but I'm guessing they would also identify with this description.
The problem with this study is that the people finding this stuff out are themselves either first-borns, youngest, one of the middle-children, or only-children, & that would give them a bias on their opinions of their own & other people's categories. The only way to get an objective viewpoint on this would be from a scientist from outer space. Even androids or computers with Artificial Intelligence would be influenced by the bias of their programmers. This can apply to many arenas of study, can't it?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Life Purpose

I'm reading a book called What Should I Do with My Life? by Po Bronson, & while it's not from a Christian perspective, it gives you some interesting things to think about. An illustration that came up is of 3 men laying bricks. Someone asked one of them, "Why do you lay bricks?" & he answered, "To make money." The second man was asked the same question & he said, "To provide for my family," which sounds a little better. But the third man answered, "I'm building a cathedral." His job was for something he found worthwhile & valuable! I'm not "building a cathedral" with my current job, but I have to remember something else - everything I do throughout my life, while it seems pointless aside from paying the bills at this point, is preparing me for my greater purpose. I'm learning about myself & what is valuable to me. I already know what is eternally valuable, & I pursue those goals in other arenas, but I'm talking here about more temporal value, which is still value. The Lord puts us in situations to learn about ourselves & know better what we ought to pursue. For some it takes longer than for others, but "peoples is peoples..."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Analogy Explained

One of my favorite $5 DVDs is Muppets Take Manhattan. My favorite part of the movie is when the Russian owner of a NYC cafe gives advice to Kermit. He begins with, "Peoples is peoples..." & continues to use a bunch of metaphors that don't make any sense to Kermit. Kermit replies, with the confused expression only a frog puppet can make, "Thanks... That helps a lot." If you think about what the man said & use your imagination as to what the metaphors might have meant, though, you might actually make some sense of it.
I sometimes adapt this monologue to say, "Peoples is peoples. Is tomatoes, is pumpkins, is sea turtles, heh? Peoples is peoples." Here is what I mean: When people do things that don't make any sense to you, remember something I've heard Chip Ingram say, "Everybody does what makes sense to them." People are all different! This is where my analogy comes in (if you've read my previous blog "Grapes & Pumpkins", this is along those same lines). Some people are like tomatoes, in that they need structure to bear fruit. Some people are like pumpkins, because they will grow better if you leave them alone. The "sea turtles" fit more into the big picture. "Let me tell you what is:" hundreds of sea turtle eggs are laid on the beach every year. When they hatch, though, most of the cute little baby turtles get eaten by birds & lizards, what have you... but the ones that make it to the ocean can live over a hundred years! I'll just let you think about that one...
Let people be themselves; people are different, so don't be afraid when people don't do things the way you would do them.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Weasel Stomping Day

~Weird Al Yankovic~

Faces filled with joy and cheer
What a magical time of year
Howdy Ho! It's Weasel Stomping Day

Put your Viking helmet on
Spread that mayonaisse on the lawn

Don't you know it's Weasel Stomping Day

All the little girls and boys
Love that wonderful crunching noise
You'll know what this day's about
When you stomp a weasel's guts right out

So, come along and have a laugh
Snap their weasely spines in half
Grap your boots and stomp your cares away
Hip hip hooray, it's Weasel Stomping Day

[Sounds of weasels getting stomped on, with bone-crunching and rodent-screeching effects]

People love them down the street
Crushing weasels beneath their feet
Why we do it, who can say?
But it's such a festive holiday

So let the stomping fun begin
Bash their weasely skulls right in
It's tradition, that makes it okay

Hey everyone, it's Weasel Stomping
We'll have some fun on Weasel Stomping
Put down your gun, it's Weasel Stomping Day
Hip Hip Hooray, it's Weasel Stomping Day

Weasel Stomping Day

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Lordship Salvation" is deceiving

From time to time I've listened to "Grace to You" with John MacArthur. We've brought up issues with him before, but I thought I'd give him a chance, & most of his messages I have no problem with. Today he started a series entitled "Examine Yourself", & some of his statements were true. In this message he said you have to come to salvation on Christ's terms, not your own, & there's no doubt about that. But he came out & said that believing in Christ is not enough to save you. If he was just thinking about how, "the demons believe & tremble", that can be backed up, but I think he was taking it farther than that. He said that true Christians live "righteously", which is true, except it sounded like he was implying that it's our own responsibility to live righteously - but we can't live righteously without the Holy Spirit! He was using the Sermon on the Mount as a pattern that Christians must live by, without saying that we can't live that in our own strength. I think because of when the Sermon on the Mount was preached - the context - it was like the Law, showing us that we don't meet those standards & need Christ to interceed. It's true that true Christians will bear the fruit of the Spirit, but that's the result of salvation, not the means of salvation. I guess my point is this: John MacArthur is preaching truth, but emphasizing the wrong things. He needs to better explain what the words "believe" & "righteousness" mean, because from the context of his sentences, one could get the wrong interpretation. The Law is a mirror to show us our sin, so we need that! But "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us..."

Friday, August 31, 2007

Just a thought

I was thinking about the way the King James Version of the Bible sounds. Sure, words like "Thee" & "Thou" are still recognized as synonyms for "You", & they sound more formal. But what about words like "cometh"? Did people really talk like that? I wonder if someone was dictating who had a lisp, & the scribes wrote it down like it sounded. He meant to say "comes" but it sounded like "com-th" so the scribe wrote "cometh". None of us were there to hear if English-speaking people spoke that way back then, hence this theory. Go ahead & prove me wrong & I won't be upset; it's just a fun thought.

Maybe some Christians reading this are of the "King James only" persuasion, & I don't mean to judge or offend you. I don't know why you feel that way, though. The Bible is inerrant in the original languages in which it was inspired by God, & while we don't have the actual original manuscripts (if we did, people would probably worship the paper instead of the God they read about), we have some mighty old ones, that when compared with each other are practically identical (some words might be different here & there, but it doesn't change the meaning anywhere). When scholars study the original & compare it with translations in different languages, they can tell whether the translation fits with the meaning of the original languages. English-speaking people needed the Bible in their own language so they could read it, & the KJV was one of the first, but even it has been adapted over time. If we don't speak that way anymore, why should we have to read the Bible that way? It's just another translation - not the original! It's fine, but other translations are fine, too, & people should read something that they'll understand what it means. There wasn't anything special about the people who translated the KJV - the Word of God is powerful, & it is meant to be understood. [On the other hand, we have a lot of English translations already, so translators should focus on the thousands of languages that have no Bible translation.]

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Don't check your brains at the door

Our common culture has given the impression that faith & science don't mix, & the sad thing is, many Christians would go with that. They would rather ignore what "science" teaches & just say "I live by faith", but as a Bible-believing Christian & an analytical person, I want to discourage that. First, we have to understand what "science" means.
Here is a dictionary definition: science~ The investigation of natural phenomena through observation, theoretical explanation, and experimentation, or the knowledge produced by such investigation. Science makes use of the scientific method, which includes the careful observation of natural phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis, the conducting of one or more experiments to test the hypothesis, and the drawing of a conclusion that confirms or modifies the hypothesis. If that's what science means, Bible-believing Christians have nothing to worry about. Don't be afraid to take Genesis 1-11 literally, either; there's factual evidence to support it!
A danger is, there is so much twisted material out there, people have a hard time making & defending decisions about anything. I found a website - - that sounds good until you actually open it. I don't know what the intent of the founder is, but it makes Christians just sound stupid!
Everyone is taught that macro evolution (Darwinism) is science, but by the above definition of "science", macro evolution can't be defended. Creation can't really be called science, either, because no human alive today was there to see it happen. But the Bible was inspired by Someone who was there! From what I've learned from objective study - Christian & secular - (as objective as can be expected, because everyone has biases), the Bible fits with historical & scientific evidence. Believe the Bible because it's true, & study the evidence. Anything you believe & practice takes faith, but I want to put my faith in something that can be defended!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Helping Others

When you see someone who seems to need help, or asks for a favor, for what reasons might you hesitate? Yes, there are some areas you need to be discerning about. For instance, if someone on the street asks for some money, you probably usually shouldn't just hand them money, because the truth is, they might spend it on alcohol or drugs, & that won't help them. But what is okay to do? It's up to you & the leading of your heart, but I'm of the impression that giving someone some food to eat or gas for their car - for some examples - isn't going to hurt anything. But what if it's a scam & they don't really need your help, or what if they're bad people & helping them might hurt someone else later on?
The first example that comes to my mind is Clark Kent (a fictional character). Some of the people he saved turned out to be bad people, & if he had not saved them some other people would not have been hurt later, but at the time he saved them he didn't know that. He came to the realization that it was his responsibility to save anyone he had the opportunity to save - whom to save & not save was not his call. We don't have superpowers like Clark Kent, but I think the principle can apply to us, too.
Maybe you think, "I have needs, too; why should I help someone else?" Sometimes that's a valid argument, & it's no reason to feel guilty if you're unable to give; but the widow in Mark 12:41-43 & Luke 21:1-3 who gave everything she had comes to mind. If you know Jesus as your Savior, just do what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Re: previous post - If you don't like to think of yourself as a "grape" or a "pumpkin", "tomatoes" & "watermelons" would also fit the analogy. The point is, true Christians all bear the same fruit of the Spirit, but it can grow different ways.

I thought of another analogy that fits with the sovereignty of God in our salvation (keeping in mind that no analogy fits perfectly, but they can help you think) People are kind of like checker pieces that God moves around. He is able to move every piece, but when a piece is "kinged" it's kind of like when a person is saved. First, his identification is with the King (Jesus Christ), & also now he can be moved around much more - more useful to God. People are responsible for the choices they make, just like checker pieces reap the consequences of where they are moved. Now God doesn't make any mistakes as a person playing checkers can, so the analogy breaks down there; but the point is Someone Else is in control of your life, so yield your life to Him!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

For sale on EBAY

John Schneider (Bo Duke/ Jonathan Kent) is selling the General Lee on EBay! You got $2.5 million just lying around?

Grapes or Pumpkins?

One of the biggest things I've had to learn that I am still learning, is that people are all different, & because they are different, they do things different ways, & the things that work for one person won't work for another. That may seem obvious to you, but let's analyze it a little more (because that's the kind of person I am!)
Some people are like grapes -- I am one of them. Grapes grow on vines, but they need to be hung up & given structure or they won't grow. For me, without structure I couldn't function. It seems everyone in my immediate family is like that, so for a long time I was under the assumption that everybody is like that. But my wife, Angie, has taught me that not everyone can work that way -- some people work better without structure! Angie & I were talking about this last night, & we came to the conclusion that some people are like pumpkins. Pumpkins also grow on vines, but if you hung them up like grapes, they couldn't grow! They need to be left alone to grow along the ground -- & they bear fruit!
God has created you to be the way He wants you to be, & if you have accepted His Son Jesus as your Savior, you are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, & you will bear the fruit of the Spirit; but different Christians bear the same fruit in different ways.

Friday, April 27, 2007

New Update

I'm still working as a temp here at the Legal Office. When I started here just over a year ago, I didn't like it all that much & was looking forward to working somewhere else, but as I've gotten to know people better & learned how to do more things, this job has kind of grown on me, & I'm hopeful that it will become a permanent job soon. Angie just started working at Michael's the arts & crafts store, & from what she's told me it's a fun job! Her younger sister Margaret is getting married in June, & the wedding's on the beach in New Jersey, so we're looking forward to that! Life is a growing process & we don't know all that the Lord has for us, but we're okay!

Why do we make mistakes?

I get so frustrated with myself when I do things wrong. Most of the time I don't know if a decision was the wrong decision until later, but I feel still bad about it. I know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior; He is the Lord of my life & I know He guides my decisions -- so why does He allow me to make bad decisions?
For one thing, I learn from my mistakes & am better prepared for the future. I always remember what Rafiki said on the Lion King: "Yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it. Ha! You see? Now what are you going to do? It loses something when you can't hear the accent, but you know what I'm getting at...
It's more than what you learn, though. There are some people I know who seem to have it all together, & while I love them as my brothers & sisters in Christ, the truth is they frustrate me! It's the people who struggle with the same things I struggle with that encourage me. This applies not only to mistakes we make, but the hard things that happen that are beyond our control (my problem is sometimes I feel guilty about those things, too; but I shouldn't). Maybe God lets me make mistakes & deal with the consequences, as well as go through hard times, so I can be of more benefit to others who go through the same things. & there are always a lot of people who have it much worse than me!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Things we've learned...

David & Angelina Dunkerton – What we learn together:

It’s nearly May 2007; we’ve been married 1 year & 9 months. We could’ve been better prepared for our future together than we were—it was my error. At the time I was so set on being married (in my thinking I’d wanted to get married at age 20 or 21, & 24 seemed way too old, so we had to hurry up …).
Everybody I had known got married in college or right after, so I didn’t know anything else. My problem was that I had no idea how expensive life was, & I didn’t listen to Angie about it. Still, sometimes God uses our poor decisions to put us where He wants us, & I believe it was God’s will for us to get married when we did. I have so much to learn about life that Angie has already learned, & I need to be with her to learn these things. But we will still make sure our kids are better prepared than we were!
This is a song that, while it doesn’t completely describe Angie, makes me think of her, especially certain lines:

"She's Everything" (Brad Paisley)

She's a yellow pair of running shoes
A holey pair of jeans
She looks great in cheap sunglasses
She looks great in anything
She's “I want a piece of chocolate
Take me to a movie”
She's “I can't find a thing to wear”
Now & then she's moody

& she's everything I ever wanted
& everything I need
I talk about her, I go on & on & on
'Cause she's everything to me

She's a Saturday out on the town
& a church girl on Sunday
She's a cross around her neck
& a cuss word 'cause its Monday
She's a bubble bath & candles
”Baby come & kiss me”
She's a one glass of wine
& she's feeling kinda tipsy

She's the giver I wish I could be
& the stealer of the covers
She's a picture in my wallet
Of my unborn children's mother
She's the hand that I'm holding
When I'm on my knees & praying
She's the answer to my prayer
& she's the song that I'm playing

She's the voice I love to hear
Someday when I'm ninety
She's that wooden rocking chair
I want rocking right beside me
Everyday that passes
I only love her more
Yeah, she's the one
That I'd lay down my own life for

And she's everything I ever wanted
And everything I need
She's everything to me
Yeah she's everything to me

There are a lot of things that we both have learned since we’ve been married, mostly from mistakes we’ve made:
I’ve learned that over the course of time, a couple can’t live on $7 or $8 an hour. A “Health Plan” is not the same as insurance, & it’s most likely a scam. Insurance is important, but it’s not always available.
Angie knows how to do things, & I need to go along with her plan instead of always insisting on mine. You need to look ahead & count the cost before you make a big commitment!
God has different ways of providing for you than the obvious ones you would prefer. When it comes down to it, for myself, I know God has a plan for us, & I need to not be so hard on myself. We can get what we need (& clothes & vacation can count as needs sometimes), trusting God to provide for it in His timing. We’re doing the best we know how—keeping in tune with God’s will & setting godly priorities—& that’s all the Lord expects from us. We can just be grateful that He’s in control!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Just had a thought...

I was just thinking about who God uses & how He uses them. In the beginning of the church, none of the church planters had set out to be church planters, because the church was brand-new. Peter (among others) was first a fisherman, & Jesus called him to give it up & follow Him; this was the general pattern with the 12 disciples. Paul, on the other hand, made tents, & it is said in Acts that even as a traveling church planter he still made tents; that is, in fact, how he made some of his contacts. In the same way Luke, as a doctor, traveled with Paul & others, but I'm under the impression he was still a doctor ("doctor" or "physician" may have been different back then from how it's considered today, but that's beside the point).
Today God has blessed us with many preachers & missionaries, many of whom did other things first, & many of whom went straight into vocational ministry. My dad, for example, was a computer programmer who gave up being a computer programmer to go into the ministry. Just as much, though, God uses people who have various occupations-- who also know His Word-- to serve Him in the local church as lay people. Any kind of ministry that is effective is completely by the grace of God, & He can use anyone, & He will put the people who follow His will whom He has chosen where they need to be, doing what they need to be doing, to bear fruit for Him. Today I am an office assistant in a Legal Office in Columbus, Ohio. Maybe God wants me to do something else someday, or maybe He wants me to stay here, but in either case I know He will use me. If you know Jesus as your Savior, & are studying God's Word as your authority, & are willing to do what God wants you to do, God will use you no matter how pointless you feel your occupation is!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

White & Nerdy

"Weird Al" Yankovic's music video from his new album "Straight Outta Lynwood" (in stores Sept. 26)

Conan the Librarian

I should be a librarian!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Feedback from Chip Ingram...

I've been listening to a lot of archived broadcasts from "Living on the Edge" online lately, & today I was listening to a message: "Trusting God when He doesn't make sense", & Chip Ingram said something that meant a lot to me... Just like Lazarus had to die so Jesus could raise him from the dead, I had to die to my own agenda before Jesus could be the "resurrection" for my life. When I accepted Jesus as my Savior as a little boy, I died to my sin nature because Christ died in my place & was my resurrection for a new life. I still sin as a Christian & have to confess my sin & ask forgiveness (1 John 1:9)-- the sin nature is still there-- but I am no longer controlled by that sin nature. If you do not know Jesus as your Savior, that's what the history of what happened with Lazarus (see John 11) means for you-- that you need to believe & accept that Jesus died in your place for your sin; & in accepting this you have died with Christ & are dead to sin; & as the "Resurrection & the Life", Christ will be a new life for you.
I have been a Christian for over 20 years, but I have realized that there is another application for me now. I am a person who likes to make plans & see them happen, & I had an agenda in mind that I was going into vocational ministry someday. I always felt like I was open to whatever God had for me to do, but I have since realized that I wasn't really as open as I thought I was or needed to be. After settling in Columbus, I always would say that Angie & I were in a period of "transition", & that we were open to whatever God had for us for now; but someday we were going to an unreached place to serve in a church plant. That's all well & good, but it could well be that's not what God wants us to do. I had to die to my own agenda & accept wherever God places us-- & now it looks like God is making things happen. God has a plan for me, & I just have to let my own plans die & wait & see what He will do!
In posting my thoughts on a blog, I hope that people will read this & God will use it to help others to grow; but even if nobody reads it, it's still helpful to me, because writing & sharing is how I think & learn (that's why my posts are so long!)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Smallville "Justice"

Getting out of my comfort zone

I just thought of something else related to a previous blog I wrote. I've heard so many Christian speakers talk about how important it is for us to "get out of our comfort zones". Even though I can't think of any specific passages of Scripture that say that off the top of my head, I do believe it's a biblical principle. The trouble is, whenever this topic is brought up, the context is generally how attached somebody is to their own hometown, job, school, friends, etc.; and how going on a missions trip or something like that would make a big difference in their lives. This is so true for many people, and while it's true that the missions trips I've gone on have changed my life in many ways, I couldn't really identify with being out of my "comfort zone". The truth is, people have different comfort zones that they have to deal with. My wife, for example, has always had a hard time with change; but I have a harder time with things staying the same.
The first time I really felt like I was out of my comfort zone was when I moved to a suburb, got an office job, & started living a "normal" life. Siberia wasn't nearly as much of a change as this-- and the bigger change was my attitude: I had to learn to be okay with not being in the "ministry". I had to learn that my attitude about life & my relationships with others are more important to God than what I "do".
The "ministry" is my comfort zone. God can't use you until He has broken you, because He wants you to understand that nothing good comes from you; so He has you do things that you can't do yourself so you know it had to be Him. I'll try to say it another way: I can preach and go around the world and serve in camps, etc. all by myself, but I can't bear any fruit on my own-- that is only from God! Also, personally I have a hard time seeing my current job as being a benefit to mankind, but I had to learn that having a job to support my wife & future family and to have a nice home so we can show hospitality to others is important enough! God wants me to learn more about the average person's life so He can use me to serve others; & maybe He'll put my wife & me in vocational ministry someday, or maybe He won't. I'm still learning and growing, but I see progress, because I had to learn that "ministry" is my comfort zone, and once I knew that I had to be okay with being out of that comfort zone. I know this makes me different from the majority of the people I've met, but maybe someone who reads this can identify.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Purpose of Prayer

I've always known that it's important to pray, & to pray according to God's will--& I have always prayed out of obedience. I have to admit, though, that I didn't quite understand why God commanded us to pray, knowing that He knows what we need better than we do, & also that He will do His will whether we ask Him or not. God is eternal & in control, & He has known exactly what He's going to do in every situation from way before we prayed for it. (I know that it's more complicated than that, because the Old Testament does talk about God changing His mind sometimes, but that's not the point...) I had thought that God wants us to ask Him to meet our needs even though He already knows them because He wants us to acknowledge our dependence on Him, & I think that's part of it. But I heard something John MacArthur said that I hadn't thought of from this perspective before: We pray because that makes us a part of what God does, & when we see an answered prayer we glorify God! I don't think we have the power to change God's mind or move Him to do something He wasn't going to do already-- He doesn't need us to ask Him before He can do what needs to be done-- but He commanded us to pray so that we can recognize that when our needs are met it's from Him, & so we will glorfy Him; that's what He created us for!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I think I'm backwards!

I've been thinking lately about how the Lord has been working in my life, what He's been teaching me, & what I've been learning-- how things have changed. You know, as a Christian, one of the most important things you need to do is say to God, "Do whatever You need to do to teach me what you want me to learn; to get me doing what you want me to do." If Jesus is your Savior, you need to acknowledge Him as your Lord & live your life His way. "Salvation" & "Lordship" are not the same thing, & they don't happen at the same time, but a godly life is the result of being indwelt by the Spirit, which starts the moment you accept Jesus as your Savior.
I digress (but it's an important digression-- read through the book of Romans & think deeply about it to better understand where I'm coming from). When you ask God to do this, you don't know what He's actually going to do. God's plan is often different from what we expect.
I hear so many testimonies from people who were set in good jobs; & it was a big deal for them to drop them & go into the ministry-- & praise the Lord that He works that way in them! For me, however, it was the opposite. I remember when I first told the Lord that I was willing to do whatever He wanted me to do with my life-- I was 15, & a trainee at Summer Missionary Training School with Child Evangelism Fellowship. The Lord gave me so many opportunities to serve over the years, & He used me & I grew in Him; but I may have also gotten a wrong message because of my own pride & a narrow mind. I was so set on going into vocational ministry, that establishing a career never was on my mind. It wasn't until after I got married that I realized that life is expensive! I was always fine with other people working to make money & being the ones who support missionaries, but I was sure that Angie & I were supposed to be the missionaries whom the "business people" support. I would always tell people, "We're in transition, & we don't know what the Lord wants us to do yet"; but what I was really thinking was, "Our life hasn't started & we aren't doing anything valuable until we are on the mission field." I would tell other people, "Where you work is a mission field, & church plants need lay people to serve there"; but I never thought I was supposed to be one of the "lay people". But now I'm starting to understand that my family comes first over "ministry" (& that "ministry" is not always equivalent to an obedient relationship with God, which comes first over family), & that having a job for the purpose of supporting my family, along with showing hospitality to others, is valuable. This has given me peace that for now I am working for the state of Ohio in a Legal Office, & my first priority is to provide for & develop my family; & God can use me here in my local church for as long as He wants me here. I know a lot about what the Bible says & what the principles mean, but I need to learn about real life to know how the Bible teaching can be applied. My pastor called this process "seasoning", & that's what I need to be more effective wherever God places me.