Tuesday, September 30, 2014

AC3 VB39 Crossing Over - The Paranormal Musical

We have a new series starting this weekend "Crossing Over - The Paranormal Musical" that you will not want to miss! Rick and Dan talk about our new series that will cover; Ghosts, Angels/Demons, Hell & Heaven in this weeks video blog. Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

AC3 VB *Special* Malawi Fundraiser Ice Buckets

Don't Ask, Just Follow

Listening when it doesn't make sense. 

So there I was, managing this coffee stand at the church. Handling the tracking of money and helping with every aspect of the operation. For starters, I don't think that I should even be my own bookkeeper, it's certainly not in me to be a diligent tracker of money for an entity outside of myself. However, there I was, because God needed me to be involved. The coffee stand needed change, Creek Espresso needed management and needed good stewardship. I didn't see myself fit for the job, but God did, so I listened.

I did the best I could and prayed like crazy for God to show me the more permanent answer as to who belonged managing Creek Espresso, it certainly didn't feel like it was me. Since I joined the BAM board (Business As Mission) earlier this year, I felt drawn to this coffee stand. God was pulling me towards it to seemingly set the path for the future, much like he pulled me in to start this blog late last year. As with most things God pulls me to, there was enemy opposition. It was not an easy road but with the help of the BAM board, our volunteers and a HUGE help by our new Creek Espresso Management, Stephanie Moddison, the future is looking bright for Creek Espresso and it's efforts to raise funds for The AC3 Community Center.

The power of prayer

Like I said, the prayers were being sent up in great numbers lately about finding a solution to the problem that I was facing. I needed to step down from this role in the coffee stand, but I needed God to show me the way as surely all of this hard work was for progress in Jesus' name. 

So there I am, praying like crazy. One night, I had a good long talk about it with Bet (aka the awesomest wife in recorded history), told her I was praying about it and asked her to as well. That night before I went to bed I prayed that I'd find balance, that even if I was supposed to manage this coffee stand that I could fit it in where it needed to be fit in as I run a real estate business that supports my family that is clearly #1 on the work priority list. 

How God works in my life.

Well, in the short years I've been a real follower of Jesus, I've learned that The Holy Spirit seriously lacks subtleties when showing me the path that needs to be taken. 

So I'm moping around the house, the very next day after talking to Bet about this coffee stand/time constraint problem and Bet says, "hey honey, I found this in the bag of stuff taken out of your old car, do you want it?"

This is a press pass, made for me by one Nate Crain, an idea straight from God, filtered through Dan Hazen and myself. It was the vision to start this very blog that caused me to take up my passion for writing again, a vision that was seemingly taken from me when business picked up and the coffee stand among other things took all of my time.

At first I didn't think much of her finding the press pass and handing it to me. Then I checked my email. Within an hour of Bet handing me my press pass, I get an email from Creek Espresso's saving grace, Stephanie Moddison. Stephanie and I had been working together to manage Creek Espresso for several months. There's no way that it would be what it is today without her. The email was about how God was putting it on her heart to take over full management of Creek Espresso. How her little guy was just getting old enough where she thought she could take this all on and that her processes for the stand were ready to be in full swing. 

So, I took a step back. Thanked God for working in my life and told Him that I'm listening and that I'm His humble servant and will press forward as he's called me to do. 

Listening forward

So, I listened. Here I am, writing on the blog. I know not where I'll be led in this adventure but I know I'll be led somewhere He wants me to be which makes my heart happier than I could have ever imagined. I'm done asking questions about where He leads me, it's time to just follow because I always end up in the right place at the right time. 

I also know, AC3, that your espresso stand, Creek Espresso is in capable, amazing, loving and caring hands for the foreseeable future in Stephanie Moddison. I will be doing all that I can to support her as she takes on this challenge that God has laid on her plate. So stop in for some java this weekend at church and support the community center at the same time. 

-Jared Galde

AC3 VB38 Worship with Kids

Video Blog 38 is here! This is a MUST SEE if you are a parent of a little one. If you are a parent of a child and were wondering about the kids being in worship with us, then check this out. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fractal Mind

Shea here... Reposting some thoughts from my personal blog - SpareWonder.com
Romanesco broccoli.
The fractal shape form of a
Romanesco broccoli.

According to Wikipedia: A fractal is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale.  Fractals can be nearly the same at different levels.  Fractals includes the idea of a detailed pattern that repeats itself. From <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal>

 Being philosophically curious, whenever I have the time, I began to wonder if this concept of a repeating pattern of ever larger scale could be found in other areas of life and being in the universe.

I used to believe that animals did not have any such thing as a "soul" and that whatever resemblance they showed to humans in terms of personality and emotion and intelligence was merely coincidental - that they were strictly running on instinct whereas we humans ran on free will and self-determination.

My view has changed.

I still believe there is a unique creation in humankind - the Imago Dei breathed into us as the clay of Adam became our flesh. However I am confident that there is far more to the rest of creation than I was previously willing to give it credit for. Whatever a "soul" or "mind" actually is, I now believe it is present in many other creatures. Our beloved and missed family canines demonstrated such a wide range of emotion and love and personality that I had to re-think my impressions of animal "instinct". Watching the local murder of crows in the greenbelt across the street had me re-thinking even more…

What if…
What if there is a fractal pattern to consciousness and awareness - to "minds" or "souls". If so, humans are certainly on the scale somewhere - but where. I think we tend to assume because we have largely reached the top of the food chain, that we would also be at the largest extent possible of the fractal mind scale - but is it true?

Before wondering further, lets remind ourselves of the common definition of "mind".

Mind (mīnd/) noun
  1. the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.
  2. a person's intellect.
Insects demonstrate some fascinating aspects of intelligence and awareness, but on a much smaller scale than dogs or dolphins or Donald Duck. If we apply the concept of a fractal to the general philosophical idea of mind, we see patterns in behavior and in awareness at even the smallest scale and they develop and enlarge and repeat. I know that evolution is commonly credited with developing progressively larger brains and other biological advancements, and since I'm growing a bit tired of that conversation, I won't protest if you insist it is true… but again - what if life is less of a growing progression and more of a weakening reflection? What if all of the minds found in creation represent just a portion of a much grander fractal design - one that continues repeating much smaller than our science has imagined, and much larger than our minds are really capable of grasping?

Romans 1:20
For His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
What does the bible mean when it refers to God's eternal nature? Is it just how long He has been around? Of course the Eternal God is outside time (whatever that means) and has always existed and will continue to exist in the unimaginable distant future.  In Hebrew, El Olam - the Everlasting God. Olam means “forever, perpetual, old, ancient” - of infinite future and infinite past.

Psalm 90:2
“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God”.
He was before all time and all worlds. But is this all that "eternal" means? Is it just a reference to how many birthday parties He gets to have? Is there more? What would it mean to call Him the Eternal Mind? Or could we even begin to ponder more than our current position on the mind-scale?

I like the idiom that says: A stream cannot rise above its source
There is a very basic principle at work in our universe which any thinking Christian needs to have built into their intuition. The concept is best illustrated with the natural behavior of our earths system of rivers and streams. One of the laws of nature is that the headwater (source) of a stream, river, brook, etc., will always flow downward. In other words, if a stream is coming out of the ground at 300 feet above sea level, it will never naturally flow uphill to 400 or 500 feet. With rivers and streams, it is obvious that gravity is the primary cause of this phenomenon, but the concept also applies to other areas.

For example, a creative being will never create something greater than itself. We humans, of course, have many fantastic creative impulses and we have made some pretty fantastic stuff as a result. But many might assume that making other humans is the most amazing creative achievement we are capable of. However because we are mortal, even with all of our wonderful creative, and procreative power, we will never (within our own power) give birth to a "greater" being such as an immortal angel.

In the same way as a stream will never rise above its source and we will never create something greater than ourselves, a complex mind system (one capable of understanding) will never fully comprehend a system which is more complex than itself. To us, the human mind represents the most complex thing we might ever understand - simply because it is that thing with which we do all of our understanding - it is the source of that stream so to speak. Should something of greater complexity and power than our brain exist, we will never be able to fully understand it.

Some religions, largely Eastern systems, are essentially pantheistic - which means they suspect that everything that is, is God. The ant, the rat, the cow and cousin Kate - along with all the stars and floating dust in the universe - all essentially equivalent and identical to God. I used to think this was crazy thinking… but now I wonder if their viewpoint has some hint of truth. Of course their concept of God, for as large as the universe is, is ultimately too small. It is attempting to understand God from an assumption of being on the same exact scale as God.  But maybe Pantheism is seeing some things accurately from it's a particular location on a fractal scale.  In some sense, all that is seen, and all that is not, represents a much larger reality and perhaps even demonstrates some beautiful patterns. In some sense, the ant and the rat and the cow are special - perhaps even sacred - because they are a part of the whole of the creation God invented in order to reflect Himself on a smaller scale.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

AC3 VB37 The Cost of Discipleship

Here it is! AC3 VB37 The Cost of Discipleship. This weeks video blog comes to you from The Living Room. The Living Room is a new coffee house here in Marysville next to Mae Phim in the Safeway Plaza that is run by Hillside Church. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

AC3 VB36 Prayer Closet?

This weeks VB is on time! :) Check out Rick's "Prayer Closet" in this weeks VB. Enjoy!

Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)

I'm re-posting an excellent blog I found HERE
I found it to be a concise response to 3 arguments against Christianity I keep running into on the Web.  The resident skeptic in your life may have throw these your way a time or two, so I thought perhaps it would be good to fact-check them all at once.
Claim #1: “Religion has been the primary cause of war and oppression throughout the history of mankind.”

photo source: http://radiomankc.blogspot.com/

The Truth: In their comprehensive Encyclopedia of Wars, Phillips and Axelrod document the recorded history of warfare. Of the 1,763 wars presented, a mere 7% involved a religious cause. When Islam is subtracted from the equation, that number drops to 3.2%.

In terms of casualties, religious wars account for only 2% of all people killed by warfare. This pales in comparison to the number of people who have been killed by secular dictators in the 20th century alone.
Claim #2: “The dark ages were a time of ignorance and superstition, thanks to religion’s negative influence on scientific progress.”


The Truth: Atheist writer Tim O’Neill responds to this claim eloquently in his excellent review of “God’s Philosophers”:  
“It’s not hard to kick this nonsense to pieces, especially since the people presenting it know next to nothing about history and have simply picked up these strange ideas from websites and popular books. The assertions collapse as soon as you hit them with hard evidence. I love to totally stump these propagators by asking them to present me with the name of one – just one - scientist burned, persecuted, or oppressed for their science in the Middle Ages. They always fail to come up with any. They usually try to crowbar Galileo back into the Middle Ages, which is amusing considering he was a contemporary of Descartes. When asked why they have failed to produce any such scientists given the Church was apparently so busily oppressing them, they often resort to claiming that the Evil Old Church did such a good job of oppression that everyone was too scared to practice science. By the time I produce a laundry list of Medieval scientists – like Albertus Magnus, Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, John Peckham, Duns Scotus, Thomas Bradwardine, Walter Burley, William Heytesbury, Richard Swineshead, John Dumbleton, Richard of Wallingford, Nicholas Oresme, Jean Buridan and Nicholas of Cusa – and ask why these men were happily pursuing science in the Middle Ages without molestation from the Church, my opponents usually scratch their heads in puzzlement at what just went wrong.”
Claim #3: “Jesus was a mythical figure. The New Testament stole most of its stories from other ancient sources.”


The Truth: These claims gained a lot of popularity thanks to the 2007 propaganda film “Zeitgeist” and its articulation of the Jesus myth hypothesis. It turns out that the “facts” presented in the image above are almost entirely fabricated. I was able to refute most of them in about thirty minutes of searching on academic websites:

  • His mother (Isis) wasn't a virgin. Isis married her brother (Osiris) and conceived Horus with him.
  • There’s no historical reference to a “star in the east,” or to Horus “walking on water.” Those are simply made up.
  • Horus was never crucified or resurrected. Actually, he never even died! The story is that he “merged” with the sun god, Ra.
  • By most accounts, Mithra was born in either September or October.
  • There’s no historical account of Mithra having twelve disciples. That part is also made up.
  • Mithra wasn't said to have been born of a virgin, but rather out of solid rock.
  • There’s no known record of a resurrection (or even of him having died).
  • Krishna was from the royal family Mathura, and was the 8th son of Devaki and her husband Vasudeva.
  • There is no mention of a “star in the east” or a resurrection in the literature.
  • There are some references to him performing miracles, but that’s about it…
  • He wasn't born of a virgin. His mother was Semele (a mortal), and his father was Zeus.
  • Dionysus died each winter and was resurrected in the spring. No mention of December 25.
  • There are plenty of references to Dionysus turning water into wine…but he was, after all, the Greek god of wine.

The Web is a place for all kinds of "devastating" arguments like these, but often they're put forward with more zeal (or sarcasm) than knowledge.  So remember, "the first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him." Prov 18:17

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

AC3 VB35 We're Back!

If you didn't catch it on Vimeo or Facebook, here is LAST WEEKS video blog better late than never! :)