Tuesday, September 28, 2004


I did a headstand last night, holding onto a couch and a chair. I did however forget that I had my cell phone in my pocket... I was pretty impressed with how well I was able to balance myself upside down, and then my cell phone fell out of my pocket and hit the ground below... I lost my concentration and I rolled out of it. When my feet landed, I stepped right onto the screen of my cell phone, a genius of a move. The screen was flat busted....

I called BestBuy about it to get my phone replaced, and they told me because I stepped on the screen they wouldn't replace it. I wish the guy at the store would have told me that today when I was there instead of saying they would take care of it on the phone (which by the way was a call to India). I don't really want to drive back out to civilization tomorrow to get a new one... But God is good and stepping on your cell phones is bad. Remember that next time your thinking about doing a headstand off of your lounge furnature at 2 in the morning (it was a long Greek study session).

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Church shopping

Anyone ever wonder why it's so hard to find a good church? Why is it that we search and search and search some more without results? I've been thinking a lot about it lately. I must say that I am thankful to be able to go to different churches right now and experience the various methods which people employ in the body of Christ.

I've noticed that at most, ok, all the churches I've been to, good worship will mean that I'll have a crummy sermon to follow it up with. In churches that are still acting like church worship was designed to be lived out in the 18th century, the messages are better. Why?

I can't help but believe that somewhere along the lines we've confused the definition of church (enter Dumples' history lesson). I'm guessing it was sometime around the 18th century. Ok, so I'm exaggerating, but not too much, I'm guessing the end of the 18th century. I say the 18th century, because it was at the end of the 1700's when Charles Wesley passed away and with him and his contemporaries went the concept of new music for the church. Enter "I just want to sing the classics" (not wrong, let's just think bigger).

When the music revolution was happening in America in the early 1900s, the mainline denominations didn't go with them, except for some smaller churches who realized the need for relevance to the people around them (judging from my weak knowledge of music history). Eventually in the 1990s non-denominational churches that were using contemporary music were really damaging a lot of the mainlines.

Most non-denominational churches that were/are using contemporary music were actually drawing people's attention who weren't Christians, as well (big shock, relevant music helps people connect? What? We shouldn't use an outdated KJV Bible?!?!). Yes, they use contemporary translations of the Bible too. You know, ones that you can understand, ones that are not translated into Middle English (Gee you mean people want to understand what's going on?). This is similar to the Great Awakining in the sense that they preached to the common people using common language. It is also similar to how the New Testament books were written in that they were written in the common man's language. I think they (non-denominational churches) saw the big need for all these people really seeking after God (that were pouring into their church by the buckets) to know how to become Christians and they changed their curriculum to help people get into a relationship with God. Complete with beginner sermons/preaching on Sundays, which you can find at most non-denominational churches today.

I think this is where all the problems really started to creep up. The thought pretty much went like this, “We’ll gear the Sunday sermon to seekers, and the old believers will be fed on Wednesday nights!” So contemporary churches were pumping out baby believers right and left (baby factories if you will) while the mainline churches were/are struggling with one person realzing the joy of being a Christian a year, but they seem to have an ok retention rate (70%?) of old crusty believers who rarely/never share their faith (which is sick, mind you. If you had the cure for cancer you would tell everyone).

And all is good and well (in the contemporary churches), until the babies grow up, or want to grow up. See, when you make Sundays for seekers/babies, the older Christians can’t very easily grow if you don’t provide meat for them. By meat, I mean present a challenging and edifying enviroment at church for older, more mature believers.

I think essentially we have created yet another division in the body (the holy universal church of Christ), but this one is highly more divisive than previous divisions. See, what we’ve done is made a split between the seekers/baby Christians and the old crusty Christians. The old crusty ones aren’t using their gifts in helping the babies and seekers grow (kind of like not having a mom and dad just a food dispensing machine), and the church for the seekers and babies isn’t conducive for oldies to be fed in (mom and dad don't want to eat Gerber anymore). Thus, the oldies are uncontent at many contemporary churches. Although they do seem to find churches where they can be fed, but these churches seem... boring. We all know the water has to flow in and out of a pond or it gets stagnant, as such so older Christians need to help babies and seekers. And babies/seekers of course go to “hip” churches where they are fed (yeah Gerber!) but will find stunted growth (boo!) and hopefully don’t fall away from the church later disillusioned (I pray they don't just give up, search around if this is you).

So what’s my solution? Make church relevant in worship to babies/seekers and pair them up with older believers who will be fed in the sermon. I don’t believe the pastors primary role is to bring people to Christ on Sunday, I believe the pastor’s job is to equip the body (everyone going to church) to bring people to Christ every day of the week (I mean we all work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with people who become our friends, and don't you want your friends in on the best thing going?).

But that’s just me (or not). I just want to find a church around here where I can be fed, enjoy relevant worship, and possibly do ministry. Keep my church search in your prayers. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


I have been without wireless internet in my dorm for probably about three weeks. I thought at first that it was such a burden. I didn't know if I would ever make it without internet... Granted I didn't have it when I stayed at my buddy's place for a couple weeks prior to coming to Kentucky... Now that I've been forced to not have it for so long, it helped me break some bad habits. Let's see if any of these ring a bell with you:

1.) Always checking my email. We're talking every half hour or something when I'm by my computer.

2.) Talking on AIM. It's pretty pointless in most cases, but it sure burns the time I don't have quickly.

3.) Surfing the internet for who-knows-what. I'll start looking for something like the correct spelling of Guatemala and end up on some Pastor's high cheese website that they obviously made back at the inception of the internet.

4.) Downloading software that I really don't need but think is cool for like 5 minutes and then uninstall.

5.) Downloading virus and spyware updates to get rid of the lastest crap that is on my computer because I downloaded software that really wasn't cool... Wasn't cool like I got spyware on my computer written by some 15 year-old pimple faced geek who couldn't get a girlfriend if he met her in a chatroom on AOL! (Snap! You burned!)

6.) Emailing everyone back who wrote me to see if I'm still doing ok in Kentucky.

7.) Writing blogs for the loyal viewers who come here every week.

8.) Watching the almost funny Strongbad Email of the week. Over and over. Imitating his voice while I write my little emails. Chucka-Chucka-Email!

Yep, so I realized I waste most of my time on the internet and I really only need to write back my buds. And yes, you can get colds in Kentucky while wearing shorts and a tee-shirt. I guess fall is already on its way....

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Kentucky Driveways

I neglect the fact that I've already adapted to my new setting. I was visiting my buddy Adam at his house when I saw the neighbor pull in their driveway. Now, most of us understand/believe that the concrete driveway that leads to the garage is for parking your cars on. When I say I saw the neighbor pull into their driveway let me explain why this struck me as odd. They were driving down the road and proceeded to pull into their yard and park their car sideways in the grass. At no point did their car touch what we consider the driveway (made of concrete). Instead, it is common fact here that your grass/yard is in-fact one big driveway. Driveways (concrete) are avoided although everyone (including this neighbor) has one. Why do they park in the grass? One of three reasons occur to me:

1. Driveways are sacred and should be treated as holy. Thus, the emphasis of not wearing shoes down here and no driving on driveways.

2. Yards are great places to display your rusted out 1983 Dodge stationwagon. Everyone in the neighborhood will be impressed with your item of status.

3. Everyone is so constantly in a state of drunkenness, thus, finding the driveway is too hard and yards function as driveways. Those that aren't drunk don't want to be thought a 'Yankee' and under the peer pressure pull into the yard instead.

If you have any ideas why this might be let me know.

Need more pictures!

I have 10 minutes, so I’ll give you my bi-weekly update. My friend Adam and I met with Dr. Coppedge yesterday and are in the process of joining an intensive discipleship (similar to mentoring) program while at grad. school. I have been discouraged in finding a good church lately and really prayed about it yesterday. I ran into a guy who I have class with that night. We started just talking and he told me about his church randomly. It has discipleship, exegetical preaching, contemporary music and is non-denominational. All things I had been looking for in a church. I’m going to check it out this weekend, I’m amped to say the least, especially when it seems like an answer to prayer.

I haven’t gotten many pictures from you guys… I’m not saying I’m disappointed, but come on. I’m not going to sacrifice animals or anything, I’m just going to pray for the people in your family and be encouraged that there are Christians in the world outside of seminary…
Again, my address:

Ben Douglass
204 N. Lexington Ave
Wilmore, KY 40390-1199

I wish I had a funny story to report, but alas, I do not. I’ve been reading pretty much non-stop. It has been rather annoying to see how many seminary students preparing for occupations as pastors rarely study materials outside of what you will be tested on. It would be equivalent to only eating bread and drinking water when you’re preparing for the Olympics. Sure, you’ll be alive, but you’re going to get smoked by the guys who eat right. Aka: these slackers won’t be able to fulfill their calling effectively. To much is given, much is required, I don’t know why they don’t understand that.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

A Wendy's in Kentucky

I went to a Wendy’s here in Lexington, ok, it’s actually a little out of Lexington but if I told you where you wouldn’t know. I was savoring my fries when I looked out the window and saw the “playground” that this Wendy’s furnished. It was composed of a large orange cone, some warn down rubber matting and a table like platform with rings hanging off one of the four corners. I can imagine the kids whooping it up; Billy running endless circles around the large orange cone and Sally stepping up onto and then off of the table occasionally grabbing the ring for fun. Don’t worry Mom, if they should fall, they will easily recover thanks to the warn down rubber matting underneath them. Our playgrounds in Ohio hardly holds a candle to these, we only have endless tunnels where kids pretend they are hampers, big long curly slides and ball pens where the kids jump around and throw balls at each other. Yep, I’ve never seen quite an orange cone like it. It was nearly as tall as Ohio’s state flower, you know, the orange barrel. When you come to visit we’ll stop by my new favorite playground.

On my way out I threw out my trash and headed to the car. When I started driving down the road I noticed that I had ketchup on the back of my right hand and right next to it was a Frosty spot I must have spilled on my finger. I licked the Frosty goodness from my finger and then figured it was easier to clean the ketchup off at the same time, so I licked it off. As I tasted the ketchup, something occurred to me, when I got up from the table I think my hands were pretty clean. See, the last thing I do before I leave the table is use the napkin to make sure my hands are thoroughly clean. My mind began to race, how on earth did I possibly get ketchup on the back of my hand? Then all at once I could see it clearly, I used the back of my hand to prop the garbage lid up to throw my garbage away. I reached for the glovebox and grabbed some spare napkins I always keep there. I tried to pat down my tongue but it was too late I had already ingested the completely gross ketchup. Yeah, so I ate someone’s old ketchup that had been sticking to the lid of the garbage can that they probably never or hardly ever clean. Boy did I feel like a genius the whole way back to Wilmore.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Seminary or MMI?

I didn’t really speak about the greatest pastime on seminary campus… I call it “Match Maker International: the Seminary Years” During the first day of orientation I started to observe it. High levels of both male and female hormone seemed to rage out of control. It really is a toss up who is more desperate the guys or the girls… I’m going to go with guys, but only because I’ve seen them get shot down more than the girls. I don’t think most guys understand that being highly forward with complete strangers isn’t the best of ideas. It only screams that you are completely desperate beyond all goodness and reason, which in most cases seems to the truth, so I guess it doesn’t really matter. I’m not saying a lot of people seem to have come here as an escape from reality/getting a real job or to have a second chance to pick up a wife/husband… Ok, yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Here’s a thought, maybe we should come here to get an education. Now, I am being too harsh, I know a guy who has a girlfriend back home and there are many married couples off campus. Unfortunately I live at ground zero for those who want to rush into relationships (a men’s dorm). I give it two weeks and a lot of the people running around will be hooked up.

The second greatest pastime here is watching TV. Yeah, can you say no life? Everyone seems to watch endless amounts of television. I mean I guess it is a way for people to hang out, but you all know how I feel towards the new American idol. Don’t get me wrong there are many great movies and a few shows that have redeeming value but honestly, every floor I walk onto, everyone is watching it, around the clock. I’m sure this will change once classes start…

I appreciate all the comments. It takes a long time before I actually have friends, and down here it’s Horstman or bust! I’m really glad he is down here, I may go crazy. I read all your blogs but usually am at a loss for words.

Here are my digits in case you want to call me, I just got my line today: 859.749.0067. Although I am reluctant to put it out there, I am lucky enough to only have friends read. I'm on the 250 day and 1000 night plan, yeah it's not much, but I need to study too. Talk to you soon.

Saturday, September 04, 2004


It is about time for an update. The dorms are ok, the first week was more annoying than it had to be, but it will work out soon. For instance, the hot water went out, the carpets were steamed and now everything inside is soggy (including my pillow and sheets) because of the high humidity. Like I said, petty things that should clear up. I keep debating if I should get a cell phone or hold out for VOIP (Voice Over IP) when they get the internet up in the dorms again.

As accomplishments go, I think I’ve made a pretty significant accomplishment this week. I’ve gotten people from Alabama and Kentucky to make fun of Kentucky with me. That and I managed to get my feet eaten up by chiggers. Being the highly educated individual I am, I went to the store to buy nail polish to kill the chiggers that had burrowed into my skin. What’s that? Chiggers don’t burrow? Oh, I guess it would have made sense to read the fact sheet before I bought nail polish and painted my feet. No, I wasn’t walking around barefoot in the woods, I was wearing flip-flops. For all those other city boys out there, don’t wear flip-flops into the woods. It is a bad idea…

I feel like such a city boy here. When I meet other people who know how to turn their computers on, I get real excited. To all my peeps in Dayton, keep it real.