Monday, April 30, 2007

Some Pictures

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I guess whoever said that was right. So I figured I could save some time and just post some pictures rather than try to compose many thousands of words. : )

My Family (June 2006)
From left to right: Dad, Mom, Naomi(Bride), Alexa, Me, Nathan, and in front, Caleb.

Mom and Dad dancing at our cousin's wedding (Sept. 06)

My Sisters
Alexa and Naomi (2004?)

My Brothers (2007)
Nathan and Caleb playing with the camera during dinner devotions (tsk tsk)



There is a long story behind this picture.
I will start from the beginning (...the very best place to start).


We used to go to a church in town (River Valley Community Church) and there was a ministry called "Kids Reaching Kids". It was sort of like Sunday School except a little more involved. All the kids in Sunday school got to do something. You could be a clown, a puppet hand, a face painter, or an actor. We did skits, puppet shows, etc. at parks and places. The clowns would hand out balloons, juggle, and attract other kid's attention.

So I was an actor. Noah in fact.

And, as everyone knows, Noah had a beard, right? And as you can see I was only a little buck who, try as I may, could not grow a beard. Much less a long, wispy, grey one as Noah undoubtedly had.

Make-Up works miracles! Within 30 seconds, I had a beard!

The make-up got kinda messy after playing Noah and then one of my friends starting putting ketchup in my hair! (Actually, its a red wig. But don't tell anyone. They wouldn't know otherwise).
So one of the moms thought it was soooooo cute (don't you think?) that she took a picture of me. And alas! There went my reputation as a dignified, stately, and venerable young lad! Now, all my hopes of being a pastor or a politician, are dashed because of one small and insignificant misunderstanding!!! (sniff)

The End

Stay tuned on Aaron's iBlog for more pictures!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More About Me. Part 4 (Last part)

(My speech continued)-

Finally, What are my ambitions? My long term ambitions are to get married with a godly young woman, have lots of kids, and maybe live on a small farm or ranch. But, of course, this doesn't happen in a blink of an eye. First, I would need become a godly young man able to teach and instruct a family through God's word. Second, I would need to be stable financially and have enough money to provide for a family and buy a house. And last, I would need to get a basic education so I can help home school my children. Those are the things I am working on right now. Boiled down, those are my ambitions. My ultimate ambitions is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Now that you've heard about me, here are some questions for you to consider. What has God given you that you enjoy? Is home schooling the best option for you and your (future) kids? And what ambitions has God given you?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Eragon Movie Review

Eragon is a 17-yr-old boy who lives on a small little farm, near a small little town called Carvahall, in the mountains, in the fantasy land of Alagaesia. They are ruled by an evil tyrant, King Galbatorix. The king's sole resistance is the Varden, a group of hidden people who have their own leader and are constantly making raids on the king.
While hunting Eragon finds a blue rock. An old hippy(Brom) from town speaks of old days when there used to be dragons and riders. And he says those days will come again. Eragon's rock turns out to be a dragon egg and he secretly becomes a dragon-rider. (Dragons are both good guys and bad guys in this movie and book) The king is out to kill him and Brom leads him through the wilderness and trains him. Eventually, they go to the Varden's secret hide-out just in time to participate in a battle between the evil Urgals and the Varden.
They, of course, are on the Varden's side. And that's how they die....... (actually, you'll have to find out for yourself) :)

+Positive & -Negative Elements


  • Brom risks his life to save Eragon's life while Eragon is trying to rescue someone from jail.
  • Eragon, Brom, and Eragon's dragon(Sapphira) look out for each other and fight for each other.
  • Ultimately, the good guys beat the bad guys.

  • Magic is used by the good guys. (It's not really magic in the book but they don't develop it in the movie so you have to assume its spiritual magic, which is condemned in the bible)
  • There is some unnecessary violence where the leader of the Bad guys (The Shade) hurts his subjects. The Shade also gets red all around his mouth and eyes just before battle which looks kind of disturbing.
  • There's kind of a loll in the plot when they run away; you're not sure where they're headed except that they're staying away from the bad guys.

  • The cinematography is very well done. There are some beautiful swooping shots of Eragon and Brom on horse-back, traveling over hills and wilderness. The computer graphics and real film footage are very well produced and combined.
  • The music also went well with the feeling of the movie; it wasn't distracting or over dramatic. (Good soundtracks are where you don't really notice it, yet it adds so much to the feeling of the movie)
  • The scenes, sets, and acting were relatively believable and well done.
  • Some of the bad guys' make-up was kind of fakey.
  • I think they could have spent more time on the script; at times it seemed like the script was written for a kids movie, yet there was too much violence for it to be a kids movie so they didn't go together. They could have either toned down the violence or worked up the script more.
  • I think they could have slowed down the story a bit and developed the main characters a little more. Of course, its difficult to make an 100 minute movie out of a 509 page book that was written by a very descriptive author.
  • The editing was choppy and characters were under-developed.

I read from another reviewer who wrote sarcastically that the director had read a few chapters of the book and then made the movie. If you've read Eragon you know what he means. The movie does a poor job of sticking to the book and adds things randomly. The best elements of the movie are the Special Effects and Cinematography. They could have spent more time on the script, character development, and pacing. The book is always better than the movie. (Of course)

I enjoyed the movie and enjoyed picking out what was good and was bad to use in my upcoming feature film. (A later post. Maybe. :-) )
If you would like to read a christian, more in depth, review, click here.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Easter, Christmas, and Nominal Christianity Part 2

The Problem
So what is the cause of this problem? Where did the idea come from that all you have to do to receive eternal life is to say a prayer and believe in Jesus? Why isn't there fruit in the church of Christians turning away from sin? I believe this is a product of the modern seeker-friendly church for (1) isolating scripture and (2) lacking biblical doctrine

(1) Many of you have probably memorized John 3:16 because it has been used so often for evangelism. There is nothing wrong with this passage, yet there is a danger in isolating this verse and coming to the conclusion that all you have to do to is believe in Jesus and you will have eternal life. The scriptures need to be sought out to find the context for the verses and be contrasted with other verses that speak on the same topic.

Here is an example- If I thought that my hands were the only thing needed for catching a football, I would be very wrong. My arms, my eyes, legs, and body are also important parts for catching a football. My hands do the act of catching the football but they could not do so without the rest of my body.

The church is advertising that you just need your hands to catch a football; all you need to do to get eternal life is to
believe in Jesus. Now, please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that believing in Jesus is not an important part of receiving eternal life. I'm saying that there is much more to the Christian walk of faith. Teaching that you just have to believe is false because scripture shows that there is more to Christianity than belief.

So isolating scripture is one of causes of the problem of Christians believing they are going to heaven because they said a prayer and "believed". And as a consequence of this, churches lack good, sound, biblical theology and doctrine.

(2) Lacking biblical doctrine. First, what is doctrine and theology? Why are they important? Doctrine and theology basically mean the same thing. Theology is the truths/principles or the study of truths/principles seen in nature and the bible, of God and His decrees for man, etc. Doctrine is the teaching of these truths. So they must go together. Why are they important? The bible is God's letter to us (2 Timothy 3:16) and if we claim to be His children we need to know what His will is for us; and we do that by studying His word and searching it out. One of the biggest doctrines that the church has forgotten is the total sovereignty of God (1 Timothy 6:14-16). They think that God needs our help in matters such as bringing unbelievers to Christ. So what the church has done is tried to make the Gospel more attractive so that more people will choose Him; as if God doesn't have control over whom He chooses to allow into His kingdom. Ephesians 1:3-5 says that God chose who would choose Him, before the foundation of the world. God does not need us. God is the one who leads men to salvation. By His grace, He allows us to be apart of His bringing someone to salvation but there is no room for us boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). The seeker-friendly church has downplayed the gospel and tried to create revivals with throbbing music, and pressure people into salvation."Jesus is knocking at the door. Will you let him in?" God is sovereign and there is not one atom or one neutron or one nucleus that is not under His control. If God is going to save someone, He is going to do it. And we don't need to create false fire and emotion to get more people into God's kingdom.

So as a consequence of this view (that we need to make the gospel more attractive to get more people saved), the gospel has been downplayed to simply believing in Jesus. Thousands of people get "born again" at Easter and Christmas services and then they go right back to their evil, wicked ways without thinking twice. And they do it with the belief that they are going to heaven because they believed in Jesus. Where is the change? If God was truly working in their lives they would be changed; they would be a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Why isn't there a turning away from sin and a distaste for it?

Paul Washer, a wonderful teacher and missionary gave this example.- If he was late to teach at a conference and everyone was asking why he was late. and he answered that he got run over by a logging truck, and that was why he was late, everyone would think he was either crazy or lying. Why? Because, if he had truly been run over by a truck he probably wouldn't be alive and most definitely would not have made it to the conference without some change.

Then he asks "What is bigger? A logging truck or God? If you have really encountered Jesus then there will be a change."

Sadly, there are so many people who claim to be Christians, yet there is no change. There is no change. They are no different from the world. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7
:17- "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits."
Is the Church bearing good fruit?

The Solution
Is there a way to solve this problem? I would like to suggest 2 ways in which I believe this problem can be solved. First, (1) Repentance to God and a turning from sin, and (2) and a continual studying and teaching of the word of God and its principles.

(1) Repentance. We need to repent of our tolerance of the very things that God hates. "But wait, isn't God Love?" God cannot be a God of Love unless He is also a God of Hate. God loves righteousness and holiness, therefore he hates wickedness and unholiness.
Deuteronomy 16:22 Psalm 11:5 Proverbs 6:16 Isaiah 66:17 If I truly love life I will hate murder and abortion because they destroy that which I love.

If being seeker-friendly means tolerating habitual sin in the church, then we should throw away the whole idea of being seeker-friendly. God hates sin because he is holy.

I remember as we attended this mega-church over the years, we realized that there were so many people who came to church while at the same time practicing sin willfully. Recently divorced men would come to church with their new live-in girl-friend and take communion as if God didn't care about how they live! And they believed they were going to heaven because they said a prayer and believed! Now, I can't judge whether or not those men are going to heaven but the scripture does say "
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Those men may have been true believers who were struggling, yet if they were truly saved and they had the Holy Spirit they would be bothered by their sin. And when they stumble, there would be repentance.

Jesus said in
Matthew 3:8 " Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;"
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. The Bible calls us to repentance, and that is what we should be doing.

(2) The Teaching of the Word of God.
It seems that mega-churches tend to shy away from doctrine and theology because its not very seeker-friendly. But if the church is neglecting to teaching the word of God for the sake of being seeker-friendly then maybe they shouldn't be seeker-friendly. The church is for those who are Christians, "the saints", and we should not compromise our teaching for the sake of "seekers". From what we have seen, the teaching at mega-churches seemed shallow. They kept re-presenting the gospel because they were targeting the non-believers. Sin was not condemned because it might offend seekers. There were also many "self-help" programs that seemed to imply that man has the power to conquer his own sin; he just needs to try harder. When in truth, we are dead in our sins and cannot save ourselves. The only one who can save us is Christ.

Another important doctrine that I believe the seeker-friendly church has forgotten is the doctrine of election. God has elected those whom he has chosen, before the foundation of the world. And its not our responsibility to try and get as many people into heaven as possible.
God is in control and He can take care of that.
Our responsibility is to preach the word of God, spread the gospel and make disciples of many Nations.

In conclusion, I've presented a problem that is faced in many churches today; that many
people claim to be Christians yet their lives don't show it and their only commitment is that they go to the Christmas and Easter Services. I suggested a solution that would I believe would solve this problem. Repentance and the preaching of God's word.

Here is a really good sermon by Paul Washer on the very topic I've been blogging about.(Except he's alot better) It is soooo good! If you have a regular movie night or something, you should watch this video. It's about an hour long. It will most definitely be worth your time. Click here to see it.

If you have any comments, or if you disagree with any thing I said, or if you agree, feel free to comment. :)

Goodness! That turned out to be a very long and rambling post! If you've made this far, you are truly amazing!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hang On

Hey everyone!
I'm sorry I haven't posted for so long but I am still working on Part 2 of Easter, Christmas, and Nominal Christianity (It's turning out to be quite a long post indeed. You know me...always revising and rewriting so its taking me longer than I thought). I've also been busy with school and other things.
So I should have the Second part done and published by Wednesday.....Lord willing. :)

Hang in there. Heh heh

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Easter, Christmas, and Nominal Christianity Part 1 (of a 2 part series)

A fews years ago we used to attend and were members at a "mega-church" in town. They had 4 services- 1 service Saturday evening, and 3 services Sunday morning. One thing I remember very well was how the Christmas and Easter services were almost always overflowing with people. The church members would come with their friends, many of the women would have their yawning husbands there for the first time (they would rather be watching football) , and other families would come to fulfill their duty as Christians, to go to church at least 2 times a year- The Easter Service and The Christmas Service.

Today I would like to address the belief that many "Christians" hold to, in believing that they will make it to heaven because at one time they asked Jesus into their heart and were baptized.

Many have called this cheap grace; the idea that all you have to do to is to believe in Jesus, and God will forgive you of your sins and there is your ticket to eternal life.

I would like to first (1) explain the cause of this problem and then (2) suggest a solution that can be found in scripture.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sneak Preview

Hello everyone!
It's Sunday and a great day for bike riding and frisbee. I do not have much time to post but I would like to just let you know the things I will be posting in the upcoming week. My intention is to be a little more organized and to put my readers in deep suspense as to what to be expecting in my future posts. I'm sure the anticipation will be unbearable.

Upcoming Posts-

  • Easter, Christmas, and Nominal Christianity
  • Movie Review- Eragon
  • More About Me Parts 4-5
  • Arminianism and Evangelism
  • And whatever other goofy posts that might randomly come to my head.

Till next time.......Tata!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

My Brother's Blog

Announcing........The Dumbest Blog In the World!!!!
Actually its my brother Nathan's blog which he re-started recently.
Here's the link-

Yard Work

Today we did mostly chores for the morning and afternoon.
We are having a large baby shower for my sister Naomi. She is due to give birth around May 3. We are expecting maybe 20 cars for the shower so we had to clear up space in our gravel driveway and RV park.
We first got rid of all the ashes from our fireplace that is up in the RV park. Then we moved all the stones, logs and debris away and weed-whacked the.......weeds. (I guess thats kinda obvious.)

Nathan and I also moved a row of firewood from the driveway into the carport. Last year we cut down about 10 of our biggest trees so we ended up with about 15 cords of firewood (tons of wood, as much or more then in this picture). We stacked it all to the side of the driveway to season during the summer.
The stack is about 7 ft by 20ft by 7 ft. There were also left-over logs which we split by hand (with a maul you see). While we were stacking wood in the carport we listened to Rascal Flatts and Avalon on Nathan's boom-box. It was good hard work.
Next I mowed the back lawn.

Then I did some raking.
Whoops. Wrong rake.

Here's the right rake.

It was a beautiful day; perfect for out-door work. The sun was out and there was a slight breeze which kept us cool while we worked. The best part, though, was re-stacking and splitting the firewood. I love the smell of fresh, cut wood. I like it even better than roses and flowers. I still like the smell of roses and flowers, though.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Eggs and Toast

This is Aaron.
Aaron likes eggs and toast.
Aaron likes scrambled eggs ON his toast.

See Aaron eat his eggs and toast.

Aaron takes big bites.

Can Aaron eat all his eggs and toast?

Yes, he can.

Aaron washes his food down with a glass of milk.

Aaron has good manners.
He wipes his face after eating.

Aaron obviously has too much time on his hands to waste.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

More About Me. Part 3

My speech continued.....
Secondly, why do I think homeschooling is important? I was home schooled from kindergarten to 3rd grade with my siblings by my mom until she got too sick with her fibromyalgia and we were all put into public school. So I was public schooled from age 9 to 11. 4th grade through 6th grade. While I was in it I did not realize how much it was being drawn into the culture until dad pulled us out and I was able to look back on it.
I could probably go on and on about how harmful public schools are but I will try to keep it short. Bad company corrupts good morals and I was slowly being corrupted with out even knowing it. Why is Homeschooling important? Because it is crucial that Christian families pass on their faith to their children so that they can be a salt and a light in this dark world. It is very difficult to do this if you are allowing your kids to be raised by the world.
Did you know that from a study by Josh McDowell he found out that 94% of Home schooled children will keep their parents faith after graduation whereas only 15-20% of public schooled children will keep their family’s faith. Imagine for a moment that you had ten children. If you sent them all to public school until graduation, according these statistics, only 2 of them will keep their faith. Whereas if you home schooled them, all but one would continue the faith.

Martin Luther said many years ago- “I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place their child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the word of God must become corrupt.”

I am so thankful to be home schooled.

A Poem

I stubbed my toe today,
In a most unpleasant way,

A wooden chair, I was moving,
And my grip, it was losing,

So it landed on my toe,
And the pain, I sure did show,

Through many expletives*,
Which I hope, the Lord forgives.

So for my toes, I'm thankful,
And for my feet, I am grateful.

I stubbed my toe today,
But now, I am OK.

*Just so you know, I didn't speak any expletives. I simply added that for the sake of the poem :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

More About Me. Part 2

My speech continued-

So, first, what do I enjoy? I enjoy the outdoors. I love being outside to smell the crisp fresh air of morning, or to hear the noise of surf breaking over rocks and sand, or to feel the crunch of snow under my feet, or the warmth of the sun on my back. But what I love most about the outdoors is to see all the incredible things God has created, such as Redwood forests or snow-capped mountains poking out of the clouds. I also enjoy hanging out (or should I say fellowshipping with) other Christian families. There is a bond and a love like no other that is between other brothers and sisters in Christ. It's just so much fun being with other Christians because we can pray for each other and build one another up. I also enjoy music. Especially big band Jazz. I play piano, drums, and guitar and I help lead worship at church with my family. Some day when I am married, it would be awesome to have my own family band with my wife and kids. One of the greatest ways to combine the three things I just mentioned (outdoors, Christian fellowship, and music) is to go camping. You are outdoors enjoying God's creation, you can camp with other christian families, and you can bring a guitar or a harmonica and sing songs around the campfire.

Picture taken by my brother on Mt. Ashland

At Harris Beach, on the east coast, near Brookings; with friends, burying people. Harris Beach is one of our favorite places to go in the summer or fall.

Picture taken at "Lake of the Woods" campsite while we were there. It was an amazing and beautiful sunset. "Lake of the Woods" is another one of our favorites.

Stay tuned for the next episode.....

Monday, April 2, 2007

Good Morning Y'all!

Back to the school schedule! We all got up at 6am this morning and started our devotions. This last week we have been able to sleep in because Dad had work off. He goes to work at around 7:15 so we have to be up early to have devotions together. I don't mind too much because it adds a few hours to my day to do more things (like blogging:), although it is kinda hard being totally awake the first hour.
Our school schedule goes something like this:

  • 6-6:30:- Get up and start personal devotions
  • 6:30-7: We read a chapter from the bible as a family, each person reading 2 verses at a time. Then Dad gives a little lesson on the chapter.
  • 7-8: Breakfast and Chores (and blogging:)
  • 8-9: Music Practice
  • 9-12: Math, Copy work, and other things.
  • 12-1: Lunch and chores
  • 1-3: Miscellaneous school-Writing, reading, speech practice, music lessons. Generally, its filled up with working on speeches for our club....which is lots of fun!
  • 3-Bedtime: Free time, projects, dinner, and, depending on the evening, speech club, band practice, or movie.
Things don't always go as scheduled but I like the freedom that is in homeschooling; Not being tied-down by a state school's schedule.

Homeschooling vs. Public Schooling

For a few years (4th grade-6th grade) I went to public school. There was usually lots of homework to do in the evening which took away good family time. Among many other things, there was also a lot of time used in getting to school and back. With homeschooling you don't have to travel to learn. You can start school as early as you want, or as late as you want. It allows for lots of freedom, which makes learning faster and more fun.
Maybe sometime I'll post a speech I wrote on "The Benefits of Homeschooling".

Acts 16
Today, for my personal devotions I read Acts 16. I've been going through Acts and other New testament books lately. It was kind of ironic, too, because my Dad had recently(2 Sundays ago) given a sermon on that same chapter, Acts 16.
A quick summary-
The chapter is where Paul and Silas are directed by the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel in Macedonia. While they are there, a possessed slave-girl, who tells fortunes, followed them around shouting,
"These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved."
After a few days, Paul casts out the demon. The masters of the slave-girl have them beaten and arrested. Then a great earthquake occurs and cuts the prisoners bonds. The jailer nearly kills himself for fear they have escaped but they call to him telling him they are still there. He asks them
"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
They answered-
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household."
So the jailer and his family believe and are baptized immediately. The officers, after hearing that Paul and Silas are Roman citizens, free them from jail.

When Dad gave his sermon on this passage, he related how seeing God's wrath is a very scary thing....and it should be. The jailer saw the earthquake and was terrified and asked Paul and Silas how he was to be saved. And after hearing that God offers a way to salvation, (salvation from God's wrath) the was jailer was overjoyed.

I believe we will have more joy in the salvation Christ offers if we have seen God's wrath. And in Acts 16, God revealed his wrath to the jailer, who, afterward sought salvation.

For example, if someone stops you from falling off a cliff, you are more grateful than if he had just stopped from tripping on a rock.
Remember Hurricane Katrina? That was a display of God's wrath. Only a tiny fraction of his complete wrath, though.

Will God spare sinners who have rebelled against him time after time? Even if they are basically good? I deserve just as much wrath as anybody, but God has given us a way out of his wrath.

Jesus, the perfect lamb of God, took God's wrath upon himself so that we might be saved.

Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

What great joy there is in knowing that we can be free, and ARE free from God's wrath if we believe in Jesus.

Paul and Silas
Another thing that stuck out to me in Acts 16 was how Paul and Silas didn't complain. After getting beaten repeatedly with rods and thrown into jail they still do not complain. Instead they were "
praying and singing hymns to God" (v25)

Too often I get caught up in myself and my problems that I start grumbling and complaining. I lose the joy I have in the Lord and can no longer be a witness.

As Christians, I think one of the greatest ways we can be witnesses, is to be joyful. To be joyful even when life is hard and cause the world to want a taste of the joy that we have from Jesus.

Well, I need to start school, so, Good-bye!