I can’t believe it has been almost three months since I have posted.

A lot of stuff has happened since I last wrote.

1) I graduated from Southern Wesleyan University with a BA in religion/chistain ministries.

2) I married the love of my life, Joy Tietje!!!

3) Awesome honeymoon in Key West, FL, and Nassua the Bahamas.

4) Moved to Waynesville, NC.

5) Started my first pastorate at Jonathan Valley Wesleyan Church. (Very exciting, and scary)

Well that says it for the most part.


Crave ’08 Cont’

November 15, 2008

Wow! God is here with us at SWU!

Davie Blackburn is doing an absolutely wonderful job speaking to these teens this weekend. And our praise band ‘Banister” is awesome as well. We have had lot of kids come to the altar already to make commitments to God.

My ‘altar counseling’ team is also doing an amazing job. I am so proud of the initiative that they have shown this weekend in activly seekign out kids to pray for and following the Holy Spirit’s direction. So, altar couselors, if you are reading this know that I am so thankful for your service and I have been praying that God would use each one of you.

(Photos of the event are coming!)

What do you Crave?

November 11, 2008

This weekend Crave ’08 youth conference is coming to SWU. I am excited about this event. I am the ‘altar counselor coordinator’ and I have a great group of people as my team. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through this event.

I you think to be praying for Davie Blackburn as he will be our speaker for this weekend.

…more later.


Saturday morning Joy and I were in downtown Greenville, SC. We were wanting to go to Reedy River Falls park and read some books and enjoy the pretty day. Our first stop in Greenville was Coffee Underground, which you must go to if you get the chance, and then we were headed out to the park. Joy did not think to use the restroom after her coffee and when we were passing the Peace Center for the Performing Arts she exclaimed, “I need to use the restroom!” So I agreed and sat down on a park bench. Not even one minute later she was back and she was beaming! I asked what was going on and she said that there was a free bluegrass festival all day.

Now I was thrilled to hear that there was bluegrass for free. What I didn’t know is that the Steep Canyon Rangers were playing a concert as well as Curtis Blackwell and the Dixie Bluegrass Band. These bands are top notch and it was free.

Joy and I got to meet and talk briefly from the emerging and firesome, firey, Steep Canyon Rangers. It was a moment of sheer bliss. I would strongly suggest checking them out.


One More “Battle Scar”

September 24, 2008

Today I injured myself. Not in any great debilitating way; never the less I have one more great injury story to share with my friends and get laughs.

I was in the Rickman Library today on SWU’s campus. I was busy printing out handouts for a training session I am teaching and working on stapling them together and such. Wouldn’t you know the one hundred year old stapler would cause me grief. It wasn’t cooperating with me. So I brilliantly decided to fix it and solve my stapler disaster. As I was attempting to figure out why it wasn’t working properly I felt a sharp pain in my right hand index finger. And to my surprise I beheld a sight no one should have to gaze upon. I had driven a staple flush into my finger. Not just a prick, oh no, this thing was in as far as possible. So I nonchalantly said to the librarian at the desk, “Wow, I just stapled myself!”. I quickly removed the staple and get a paper towel to stop the bleeding which was rater profusely. Now, several hours later, I have an index finger with an awkwardly purple and swollen tip.

Just another non-predictable day of my life.

Very Old Stapler

Very Old Stapler

A ‘Nugget’ of Truth

September 19, 2008

In some of Dr. Bob Black’s classes students at Southern Wesleyan University will hear the phrase, “though they may contain a nugget of truth”. Let me set the context for you. When Dr. Black uses this phrase he is usually referring to a religion other than Christianity. He will state that though other religions are not true they ‘may contain a nugget of truth’. (Perhaps that should be included as a warning label on the Book of Mormon or on the Koran).

I believe that I have run across one of these so called ‘nuggets’ of truth in the Koran, (Islam’s holy book).

Here it is:

Sūrah 4:34 “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them.”*

So there it is. Men are superior to women because they spend their money on them. Imagine how far superior the husband or boyfriend of a high-maintenance  girl is in comparison to her.

I shared this with a friend of mine last night. He replied, “Yes, I knew it!” and gave me a high-five.

*Disclaimer: I do not believe this. And in fact the Koran gives rather harsh and degrading commands towards the conduct of women. If one were to read this passage further one would find atrocities such as permission of beating etc.


Sura 4:34

Last night while dropping off some wedding stuff at Joy’s grandma’s house we came across a PBS program called, “The Natural History of the Chicken”. The show was quite entertaining and featured a wide variety of chicken stories. Joy, her grandma, and I sat there and watched this entertaining film together and laughed until it hurt!

A few of the featured stories will be memorable to me for some time. First there was the crazy lady who kept a silky bantam chicken as a pet in her house. This chicken she claimed loves to watch Pavarotti on television, (no joke). She swims with it in her pool, bathes it daily, takes is shopping, and manufactures diapers for it just in case there is an accident, (apparently it is a house trained chicken).

Another great feature is Mike the headless chicken. Back in the 1940’s a farmer was going out to butcher a few of his chickens to feed his family. Apparently one of the chickens was so resilient that it did not die. You see, this farmer left enough neck on the bird so that it’s brain stem and most of it’s brain remained enabling it to live a rather lengthy life for a creature without a head. To feed the poor bird the farmer would have to drop cracked corn down the gullet and give it water via an eye dropper. Mike was the star at many events for eighteen months. He eventually died due to choking on his own mucus.

There is another story that is of Valerie the chicken. Valerie lived on a small chicken farm in Maine. One winter day a nor’easter was blowing through. The lady who raised the chickens called for them so that she could bring them indoors so they would not freeze to death. All came but one, #7, so she and her dog went out to search for the bird. They found it tragically frozen in the snow. The distraught farmer took the unfortunate bird inside and prepared a shoebox for it’s burial. Just as she was going about this morbid business she noticed a faint pulse in the chicken’s neck. It was alive! Chicken #7 had not been completely frozen! So the woman took out her hot water bottle and set the chicken on it and tried to thaw it out. After a while a though came over the dear heroic woman. She thought to herself, “I need to give this bird CPR”. And she did just that. She claims, “I have no CPR training so I did what I saw them do on the doctor shows on TV”. Amazingly this woman revived her chicken. Later on after #7’s survival she had an animal communicator come over to her house and ask the chicken if it “had seen the tunnel with the light at the end and if so why had it come back?” Supposedly the chickens response was, “Yes indeed I saw the light. But a voice told me it was not my time. So I came back slowly for the purpose of proving that with a little love miracles do happen.” From that point on #7 was named “Valerie” for her valor.

Silky Bantam

Silky Bantam

Finally there is my favorite. The story of Liza the chicken. Liza was raised a silky bantam chicken by her owner. According to the owner she had a deep desire to be a mother. so he went about making that happen. He built her a coop of her own and supplied her with a nesting box. Soon after several little chicks arrived. It was a proud moment according to her owner, “You could see the pride in her little black eyes.” One day while roaming the yard with her chicks a chicken hawk was spotted in the air. The barnyard became a madhouse and all the chickens were searching for shelter. Even Liza, with “terror in her eyes”, was looking for an escape. Then it hit her, my babies, and she rushed back to protect the innocent chicks. According to the farmer he saw the look of resignation, or faith in a higher power, in Liza’s eyes as she gathered them under her wings. The farmer had a thought pass through his mind, “no greater love.”

If you would like to view this film for you can find a copy on youtube.



September 9, 2008

Tonight I have been working at the library. Katie, who was working with me, and I were exploring the effects that caffeine has on the human body.

Your cup of steaming joe might not actually be the best thing for you in the morning. You see caffeine, we discovered, can be lethal. For this to take place one would have to drink five ten cup pots of coffee within 45 minutes.

Now you may be thinking how can this be? No one should be able to down that much fluid in 45 minutes. So conventional coffee ought not be an issue. However, your much needed morning punch in the face espresso in large amounts is not going to be great for your health. If you were to order 67-670 shots of espresso, depending on your tolerance, your body will not survive the effects of the caffeine.

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. Other stimulants comparable to caffeine include: amphetamines, cocaine, and other such drugs…WOW! Although the effect of caffeine is obviously not be as strong.

Fabric Button Boutenneirs 2

September 6, 2008

I have not posted the picture of the boutonnieres yet as promised. Joy beat me to it. So I stole one of her pictures.

Here it is:

Ah, my dear groomsmen, officiants, and dads/grandpas. Don’t you feel lucky to be seen wearing one of these beauties…

So the bouteniers are totally complete. Joy and I can check that off of our wedding to-do list. And now we must move on to other things. There is a lot yet to do and believe me Joy is taking advantage of the fact that I have a light semester. Someone told me not to remind Joy of my light classload. They told me it would only cause me trouble and I would get handed things to do. (They were joking of course).

Stem Cell Reaserch

September 4, 2008

Below is a paper I wrote for my philosophy class.


Stem Cell Research


            Stem cell research has so many possibilities. In fact they are almost without limit. The Totipotent and Pluripotent stem cells of human fetuses have the potential to create any type of cell in the human body whether it is bone, blood, or any type of tissue. Modern science has given us the potential to tap into this resource. Many people who are afflicted with genetic disease and other abnormalities would benefit greatly.

            Gaucher’s Disease, a lysosomal storage disorder, is a genetic disorder in which the human body does not produce the enzyme glucocerebrosidase.  Glucocerebrosidase is an enzyme virtually everyone’s body produces. Without the production of glucocerebrosidase the enzymes substrate glucocerebroside, a fatty substance, collects in the spleen, liver, bone marrow, lungs, and in extreme cases in the brain.

            Gaucher’s Disease is one of the many genetic disorders that could potentially be cured by stem cell research. So what is the most ethically responsible thing to do? I am torn. I was born with Gaucher’s Disease and most of the time I wish that stem cell research would be done. I know that it could greatly improve the quality of my life and many others like me. On the other hand stem cells that can be allowed to replicate themselves have to be taken from human fetuses.

As a believer in Jesus Christ and in the teachings of the Bible I hold the viewpoint that life, especially human life, is sacred. Genesis 1:26-27 teaches,

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (NIV)

You see we, as human beings, were created in God’s own image. We bear the mark of the creator of the universe and we were given authority over all the rest of His creation. Yet were we given the option to use science to play god and decide to alter human life and save one life by destroying another?

If you believe that a human fetus is a human life than you will have an issue with human stem cell research. If you believe that human life starts after, or close to birth, than you might not have such an issue with chopping up a fetus for the sake of science and for the “potential” to make life a little easier for people with genetic disorders.

So what is right? What is ethical? What life is more valuable? Is quality of human life more important than quantity? Or is it the other way around?

Works Cited

Stem Cells: McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill 2004

Gaucher’s Disease: NINDS Gaucher’s Disease Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Feb, 7, 2008.http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/gauchers/gauchers.htm

 Holy Bible: New International Version

Just a little something to think about… Read the rest of this entry »