Saturday, October 31, 2009


Tonight's been kinda fun around the Clark house. We've been passing out candy for Trick or Treat!

Last year, we had just bought our house. When we lived in the apartment, no one came to our place for Trick or Treat. So when we bought our house, we were looking forward to doing Trick or Treat. But we were at the Fall Retreat over Halloween weekend last year.

But we didn't miss it this year. This is a shot of the candy bowl that we've been working through. We bought 3 or 4 big bags of candy.

It's been fun to see some of the kids from the neighborhood that we see out and about throughout the week. We've got 90 more minutes of Trick or Treat left... and the best costume so far is "Tigger" for sure!!!

Hopefully for my diet's sake... we get rid of this candy. I've eaten too much already!!! But it's been fun!


Daily Read October 31, 2009

These are some of my favorite verses about forgiveness... amazing simplicity!!!

Psalm 103:8-12 (New International Version)

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Diet update... week 12

It's officially week 12 of my current diet. And I'm doing pretty well. This morning I turned in a weight that was only a 1/2 pound from my lowest.

At this point, I'm weighing in at 254.5 pounds... down from 278.0 pounds 12 weeks ago. (If you're not good with math like me... and I had to grab a calculator... that's 23.5 half pounds in 12 weeks.) That's pretty good... about 2 pounds a week.

Overall... I always wish that it would go faster. But I also recognize that if I lose too much too fast, it will just come back. So we'll take what we can get.


Naperville Turkey Trot


Today I finally registered for the Naperville Lion's club Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. The Turkey Trot is not a reference to the fat folks running it... I don't think so at least... It's a 5k run on Thanksgiving Day.

I've been meaning to do it since I started running (check out the Fat Guy Running Club post HERE). But I just hadn't done it.

Well this morning as I was running my 2 mile run for the day, I thought "I should just get that done." So I did.

I'm registered to run my first 5k on Thanksgiving Day in 26 days and 22 hours. Should be interesting!


Daily Read October 30, 2009

Hebrews 1:1-3 (New International Version)

1In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Daily Read October 28, 2009

Titus 2:11-14 (New International Version)

11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

great PDYM Community lunch

I love connections!!!

And we had some great connections today. Today was the northern Illinois day for the bi-annual PDYM Community lunch. We had a great group and more than that... we had some great discussions. Discussions about the transition from high school to college... discussions about worship... discussions about Simply Youth Ministry's "Live" curriculum.

But the best part: making the connections!!

Sitting around a table... over sandwiches and cookies... eye to eye... knee to knee... talking and working together about youth ministry.

If you aren't connected to a local group of youth workers and you're a youth worker, you need to get connected. ASAP! The benefits are unbelievable!!


Daily Read October 27, 2009

Romans 6:23 (New International Version)

23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Daily Read October 26, 2009

Romans 6:1-2 (New International Version)

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

MercyMe live on the Internet!

Love it!!!

Watch their live concert here!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Apple's "Get a Mac" ad: "PC News "

I love the new Mac ads!!!


Check them out HERE

Apple's "Get a Mac" ad: "Broken Promises"

This is awesome!!! Enjoy!


Check it out HERE

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Church Sign Fail

This cracked me up...

I saw it yesterday at Fail blog and then again today on Josh's blog. Love it!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Daily Read October 18, 2009

1 Peter 5:2-4 (New International Version)

2Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Daily Read October 17, 2009

Romans 5:6-8 (New International Version)

6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Daily Read October 16, 2009

Psalm 32:1-2 (New International Version)

1 "Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.

2 Blessed is the man
whose sin the LORD does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

PDYM Community lunch in Batavia, IL

A sweet box of FREEBIES just showed up at my office for the upcoming PDYM Community lunch!!!

Just what's in the box???

You'll have to come to the PDYM Community lunch at Fox Valley Christian Church on October 27th to find out. The lunch will begin at 12:30 and wrap up at 2 pm. This will be a great time for local youth workers to get together, meet each other (if you don't know them), chat together, share ideas and support each other. That's what the PDYM Community is all about.

The lunch is being hosted at Fox Valley Christian Church, 40w150 Main Street, Batavia, IL. We are asking each participant to bring $5 to cover the sandwiches. It's open to all youth workers... part-time, full-time, no-time, volunteer... If you would like to come, feel free to shoot me an email at I'd love to have you come!

Here's a link to the official info!! Scan down to Illinois...


Daily Read October 15, 2009

Romans 3:21-24 (New International Version)

Righteousness Through Faith
"21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

Now there's some GREAT NEWS!!! We've all messed up... but God's grace is FREE!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daily Read October 13, 2009

Romans 1:16-17, NIV

"16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith.""


Monday, October 12, 2009

Book Review: Renewal for Mission

Recently I finished up a short read in a book called "Renewal for Mission: A Concise History of Christian Churches and Churches of Christ." Actually I finished it up a couple of weeks ago but haven't had a chance to review it.

I had interest in this book for a couple of reasons. First, one of the authors was a professor of mine at Milligan College, Dr. Dennis Helsabeck Jr. When I saw it advertised in the Milligan alumni magazine, I had to pick up a copy of it.

Second, it claims to be a history of the "Christian Churches and Churches of Christ." They are the independent wing of the Restoration Movement alongside the Disciples of Christ and the Churches of Christ Non-instrumental. There aren't too many histories written from the Independent's perspective.

I was pleasantly surprised. (Not that I was hoping to be disappointed.) It was a very quick read (I read it in about 90 minutes) and as very concise in its details. This book would be a great read for someone who is moderately interested in the history behind the Restoration Movement, Christian Churches, or Fox Valley Christian Church.

There are several things about it that I liked:
  • It was very concise and easy to read.
  • It had pictures (which seems odd... but for someone who is unfamiliar with who Robert Milligan is (and his crazy hair, pictures are helpful. For me these weren't necessary, but I could see the helpfulness.).
  • It contained information about the Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ... something that many other books don't.
  • There were questions for discussion at the end of each chapter. This little aspect makes it useful in churches were a church might provide a history class about their congregation.
  • The authors included a "further reading" section where they recommended some potential resources... many of which were familiar to me.
While there were several things about this book to like, the dislikes outweighed the likes overall. Here are a couple of things that I didn't like about it:
  • There was very little footnoting. That is frustrating for me, since the authors made a couple of claims that I didn't think they could support. But I was unable to check their sources, since they didn't list them. It also made it difficult for someone to study further if they so desired.
  • The amount of information after the split with the Disciples was minimal. Part of what I was hoping was that the authors would give the basic background and then really give us some meat after the split from the Disciples. Instead we got 3 or 4 chapters of less than 50 pages of the overall 13 chapters and 150 pages. That was disappointing considering it billed itself as a history of "our" movement. Many of these pages were names and dates and occurrences without much development as to the meaning and impact of these events.
This book is part of a 3 book series published by ACU about each of the three branches of the movement. I would like to pick up the others, just to complete my set. And while this book was good and short, it left me wanting more. I wanted more detail about what makes us distinctly "us." And I felt the authors spent a great deal of time covering material that others have already done and done well (mostly here I refer to the details of the movement's founding with Stone and the Campbells through 1906) and left uncovered the information that would have made it stand out (1906 to the present).

I give it a C-. (Who would have ever thought that I would give one of my college professors a grade?)

If you are into Restoration Movement history, it might be worth picking up. Although much of the information can be found in other more developed volumes. If you are a church member wondering where Fox Valley Christian Church and other Christian Churches/Churches of Christ have come from, it may be a good resource for you.


Daily Read October 12, 2009

Mark 16:3-6, NIV

"3and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"

4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him."

Now there are some exciting verses!!!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Daily Read October 11, 2009

Colossians 4:5-6, NIV

"5Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fat guy running club...

So I'd been toying with an idea for a while.

In high school, sports was a regular part of my life. Even in college, sports was still a regular part of my life as I continued to lift weights and play basketball regularly. But since being in ministry for the past 10 years, I haven't had a regular "sports fix."

So I had been thinking about taking up running. But I had never done it. (My sister has... she was a great cross country running in high school and continues to run and is 'way' fast!)

So I'd been seriously thinking about it for the past couple of years. But the timing was never right. Finally this summer, I thought "if it's going to happen, there's no better time than now."

So I started (August 8).

I started with a goal in mind. Last year when our students were in the Dominican Republic for our missions trip, there was a 10k happening that weekend. So I thought, "I'll get myself ready and if that 10k is that same weekend as last year, then I'll be ready to run it." So that's what I'm working toward.

But I thought that a 10k race shouldn't be my first race. So I decided to run the Naperville Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving 5k.

So I've been working on this goal for the 8 weeks. I haven't blogged out it, even though it's been showing up on my twitter feed. (Basically I didn't blog it in case it didn't work out and then I wouldn't have looked like a failure.)

But the experience has been anything but that.

Today was my final day of my initial running training cycle. I was amazed that I ran 30 minutes without stopped. (Pretty good for a guy who has been noted to 'run to the fridge, but walk back.') And actually when I looked my mileage, I ran 3 miles without stopping. That amazed me more than 30 minutes!!!!

So, next week I start on my 5k training cycle. Although I'm a couple of weeks further along than I thought I was. My 5k will be on Thanksgiving 7 weeks from now. And I'm hoping that my 10k will be on March 28th, 2010.

Where we go from there... who knows... But I am starting to enjoy it. Today, for the first time, I think that I experienced what some refer to as "runner's high." That was exciting.

If you are running and tracking your runs with Nike+, which I am, you can follow me HERE and I can follow you too.

I'm now a part of the "Fat Guy's Running Club." And if there isn't one, maybe I'll be it's first member and President. Plus, the added benefit is that I've lost 20 pounds too!


P.S.: I figured you would enjoy that picture Steve.

Daily Read October 10, 2009

Colossians 3:23-24, NIV

"23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving"

Friday, October 09, 2009

Daily Read October 9, 2009

Matthew 9:35-38 (New International Version)

35Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Daily Read October 8, 2009

Colossians 2:13-15 (New International Version)

" 13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross."

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Daily Read October 7, 2009

Philippians 4:4-9 (New International Version)

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ping Pong Balls - Brock Gill

I love this guy!!! He's a Christian illusionist and he is hilarious. This is one of his best tricks. Enjoy!


Watch it HERE.

Daily Read October 6, 2009

Jeremiah 1:6-8 (New International Version)

6 "Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."

7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Logos scholarship for seminarians

Bible study is one of the most important things that we can do as Christians. God has given us an incredible tool in giving us the Bible. It is indeed a powerful weapon and a mighty sword when placed in the hands of those who weld it with excellence.

I have grown in my appreciation of the Bible over the years. I regularly spend time reading and studying it. One of the greatest companions that I have in my study of the Bible is the Logos Bible Software. I wasn't aware of this software until I began my MDiv work at Lincoln Christian Seminary. Now, I couldn't imagine doing Bible study research without it.

LCS believes in the importance of Bible study and therefore they are pretty upfront with their desire that we seminarians use the Logos system. Which is easy for me since I have found that I really like the software.

Then I saw this fall that Logos is giving away seminary scholarships!!! (For real: Check it out HERE ( I would love to land one of these $1000 scholarships (it would almost cover a class at LCS) and would love even more to get some of the resources that come along with some of the other Logos software. So I entered.

If you are going to seminary, you need Logos. And if you are going to seminary, why not apply for a scholarship( Watch a short video, give them some information and maybe you'll be using the most powerful tool in Bible study and saving some money in your seminary bill department!


Feed My Starving Children video

A couple of weekends ago, FVCC took 77 folks to Feed My Starving Children in Aurora. Here is a video of some of the photos from that day. Enjoy


P.S.: All these photos and videos were taken by my iPhone 3Gs... Just thought I'd throw that in there.

Check it out HERE if you need to.

Daily Read October 5, 2009

Mark 12:28-31 (New International Version)

The Greatest Commandment
28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these."

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Daily Read October 4, 2009

Mark 10:42-45 (New International Version)

42Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Diet Update... week 8

I haven't blogged about my diet lately. For those who are wondering, I'm still working on it.

The month of September has been tough... both on the blogging and on the diet. It started off with 10 days in Caldwell at both of my grandparents' funerals. That was hard on the diet because Mom likes to cook and it's good. So the temptation was always to eat more.

But I'm back on track. And have been pretty good on track the rest of the month. In fact, this morning (after my 2.5 mile run) I weighed in at 260.0. That's a grand total of 18 pounds lost in 8 weeks.

So... so far... so good...
Now let's get rid of another 18 pounds...


Daily Read October 3, 2009

Mark 9:35-37 (New International Version)

35Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

36He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

Friday, October 02, 2009

Zelda is sacked out...

Zelda, one of our cats, is totally sacked out on my wife's lap. She's just chillin'.


Australian School Answering Machine

This cracked me up. Enjoy


Click HERE to check it out.

Declaration and Address 200 Years Later

As some of you will know, I have recently discovered my love for Church history. I have always enjoyed history, but never really got into the Church's history until my time at Lincoln.

This weekend marks an important anniversary for the Christian Churches, of which Fox Valley Christian Church is a part, as well as our movement's brothers and sisters in the Churches of Christ (non-instrumental) and Disciples of Christ.

This weekend... October 4th... is the 200th year celebration of our movement's founding document, "The Declaration and Address" by Thomas Campbell written in 1809.

The Christian Standard has posted a collection of articles about this important document. I think this 200 year old document, that most in our churches haven't even heard of, has something important to say to us today.

First, Campbell's words: "That the Church of Christ upon earth is essentially, intentionally, and constitutionally one; consisting of all those in every place that profess their faith in Christ and obedience to him in all things according to the Scriptures, and that manifest the same by their tempers and conduct, and of none else; as none else can be truly and properly called Christians."

The Church (with a capital C) is bigger than my little group of Christian friends that attend a single congregation. The Church is bigger than even our Restoration Movement brothers and sisters. The Church is made up of those who everywhere call on the name of the Lord and follow His Son Jesus Christ with their lives. It's easy for us to believe and live like the Christians who meet inside the four walls of my church are THE church. But Thomas would want to remind us this weekend that that isn't true. (Check out Jesus' prayer for the Church and his followers... John 17:20-23.)

Second, Campbell's words: "That although the Church of Christ upon earth must necessarily exist in particular and distinct societies, locally separate one from another, yet there ought to be no schisms, no uncharitable divisions among them. They ought to receive each other as Christ Jesus hath also received them, to the glory of God. And for this purpose they ought all to walk by the same rule, to mind and speak the same thing; and to be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment."

It's easy to view the church down the street as competition. But the reality is that the congregation down the street is working toward the same goal that we should all be working towards: CHANGED LIVES. The church needs to remember that we are supposed to be about introducing folks who don't know to a Savior Jesus Christ who loves them passionately and died for them so that they could have an eternal relationship with the God who created them. That is the goal. And if that's happening in the church down the street, then that's a win for us. If that's happening in our church, then that's a win for the congregation down the street. (See Matthew 24:14.)

Third, Campbell's words: "That although the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are inseparably connected, making together but one perfect and entire revelation of the Divine will, for the edification and salvation of the Church, and therefore in that respect can not be separated; yet as to what directly and properly belongs to their immediate object, the New Testament is as perfect a constitution for the worship, discipline, and government of the New Testament Church, and as perfect a rule for the particular duties of its members, as the Old Testament was for the worship, discipline, and government of the Old Testament Church, and the particular duties of its members."

We don't spend enough time in our Bibles. I'm to blame as well. Most of us own a Bible, but rarely do we read it. Everything in found within it's pages to show us how to live life properly. Instructions are found within it's pages as to how the church should function. There is no clear picture within it's pages of what the church should look like exactly, but what we have is several pictures of how the early church operated. But rarely do we open this book. We need to change that... desperately. (Check out Acts 17:11.)

Finally (and there's more, I'm just choosing to cut it off here for now...), Campbell's words: "That all that are enabled through grace to make such a profession, and to manifest the reality of it in their tempers and conduct, should consider each other as the precious saints of God, should love each other as brethren, children of the same family and Father, temples of the same Spirit, members of the same body, subjects of the same grace, objects of the same Divine love, bought with the same price, and joint-heirs of the same inheritance. Whom God hath thus joined together no man should dare to put asunder."

As I said before, the Church needs to learn how to get along again. If we do, there won't be anything that can stop us (check out Matthew 16:18).

If you would like to familiarize yourself with this document that launched the Restoration Movement, you can read it in it's entirety HERE. The document is long and the language isn't that familiar to our ears. But I think that 200 years later, Thomas Campbell still has some important words for our ears.


Daily Read October 2, 2009

Mark 9:23-24 (New International Version)

23" 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."

24Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Daily Read October 1, 2009

Ephesians 6:10-12 (New International Version)

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.