Monday, September 24, 2007

Church With The Mogul

One of the unfortunate facts of my chosen career is that I’m going to have to miss church a lot. Between being literally unable to go (like today, when I had no way to get to a church from the Aims Community College campus) and having to work most weekends (which will be the case when I actually get out on the line and start flying), I won’t be able to regularly participate in a church for the foreseeable future. This is going to be especially hard after seeing the way that God has worked in my life through the Evangelical Covenant Church in Lafayette during my four years at Purdue.

Eventually, once training is over and I finally get stationed somewhere, I’m hoping to get involved in a church that has a lot going on during the week so that I can still be actively in fellowship with the body despite my erratic schedule. Until then (and during the weeks I’ll be stuck working on Sundays), I’m working on figuring out what I can do to lessen the impact of not being able to go to church.

While there’s simply no substitute for the fellowship that comes from meeting together with the body of Christ on a regular basis, I’ve managed to identify some ways that I can have something of a “church service” while I’m away. Today, I essentially had "church" during a very long walk around the campus of the college using the MP3 features of my phone (an HTC Mogul, hence the name of this post) to listen to worship music and a recorded sermon.

I started out by turning my heart towards worship by listening to (and at times singing along with) music from Stephen Hinkle’s album “Come.” For the 1 or 2 of you who’ve never heard me rave about Stephen, he was the worship leader at Precept Ministry’s Teen Boot Camp the years that I attended there in high school and quickly became one of my all time favorite worship leaders because of the depth of his music (containing real depth and honoring God for who He is rather than being catchy with little meaning like a lot of modern “worship” music) and his attitude towards leading worship in a corporate setting (he regularly talks about the importance of being a “lead worshiper” rather than a “worship leader). Basically, God has regularly ministered to me through his music over the last six years or so and I’m really looking forward to his long-promised third album, which I’m hoping will come out before Christ gets back.

Then I re-listened to one of the most applicable and convicting sermons I’ve ever heard in my life (Mark Driscoll’s “Resisting Idolatry Like Jesus,” from his series on 1st Corinthians). It’s one of those sermons that after you listen to it, you really have to sit down and think through a lot of the areas of your life because it’s so convicting and directly applicable to life in our culture. Essentially the main idea is that basically all of the sins we deal with are primarily idolatry problems, where we take a good thing (frequently things that God has given us, like our friendships, families, ministries, house, etc) and elevate it to a god-thing, placing it at a level of esteem in our lives far above where it should be. Naturally, that little explanation can’t nearly do justice to an hour-long sermon, but at least you have some idea of what it’s about. If you want to listen to it (which I HIGHLY recommend), go to and use the menu in the grey boxes to navigate to Sermons => Books of the Bible => 1st Corinthians and then scroll down the page to “Resisting Idolatry Like Jesus.”

Then I finished my “church-time” with a substantial amount of time thinking and praying about that sermon and sorting out with God how it applies to my life.

So…why did I spend all this time telling you about all of this? Well, one, this was intended to be a relative short post and it got long (and this is the shortened version, because I was sorting out my thoughts a lot more as I originally was typing it), and two, I think it might be cool and a worthwhile use of this blog if I were to occasionally talk about the things I’m thinking about and learning as I improvise “church” during the times like today where I’m unable to actually attend one.

In other news, they’re still figuring out exactly what to do with me as far as the simulator goes. We thought they were going to put us all in the box for 6 hours a day and just rotate seats every two hours (with the third guy observing the other two fly), but now it looks like they’re going to keep the other two on their current schedule and then alternate having each of them sit as the second crewmember for me two hours a day. While I suppose this is good in the sense that we’re not all in the sim for 6 hours straight, it’s not very good for me because I’ll only be getting practice at being the “Pilot Flying” (PF) for two hours a day verses the original schedule of two hours as PF with Melanie being “Pilot Monitoring” (PM) and then switching seats and being the PM for her for another two hours. Our exam at the end of the sim time only actually tests our skills as PF, but I wish I could get that extra experience as PM because I’ll need it when I actually get out on the line. Ok…I just talked with the other two guys, and apparently the latest news is that the instructor talked with John again and said some things that could be interpreted as wanting me to come in for that 6 hour block like we originally thought, but John wasn’t really clear what he meant, so I’m gonna play it safe and get up to go with them at 8:40 just in case he wants me there at the earlier time.

One last thing before I go to bed…I have yet another cool link for you guys! I have to be very careful with this one, because it’s one of those fascinating things that could easily cause you to lose a couple hours of time. Here’s the description of it straight from

“Shortly after Blogger launched photo uploading two years ago, one of our engineers whipped up a web page that would show us the pictures that were being uploaded in real time. The result was fun, often beautiful, but above all, compelling. We couldn’t stop watching. Over the years we’ve kept this photo scroller as part of the Blogger offices, on a monitor or projector, as an interesting (distracting?) slideshow, and a reminder of the diversity and vivaciousness of Blogger blogs. The fame of the scroller spread within Google, until one day we were asked, ‘so, when are you launching this?’ “

Well, they finally released it and I seriously lost a half hour today watching it, it’s just that fascinating. (As a side note, they incorporated filtering technology into it (like Google’s SafeSearch algorithms), so the pictures should be clean, but, as always, something iffy might occasionally slip through, but it’s mainly things like people’s snapshots, artistic stuff, bands, some random things, and a TON of little kids). Here’s the link:


At 9:24 AM, Blogger Leah said...

I overslept church cuz I was super sick last week and I had my own church service on the bathroom rug with the X-mas lights on. Yay God for being everywhere!
Miss you. Doing really well here.


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