Rick Warren – Fake Christians Should Leave!

May 31, 2010

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

Pastor Rick Warren has a message for the some 20,000 people who attend Saddleback Church: If you want to remain a passive Christian, find another church.

During his weekend sermon, Warren laid out a plan for Saddleback’s next “Decade of Destiny” ribs-warrenin which he’s anticipating exponential growth. And the plan has no room for fake Christians, he indicated.

“Let me just be honest with you as somebody who loves you. If you passively just want to sit around in the next 10 years and just waste your life on things that won’t last, you probably want to find another church because you’re not going to really feel comfortable here. Because if you’re in this church, I’m coming after you to be mobilized,” said the renowned southern California pastor.

Saddleback celebrated its 30th anniversary last month and in preparation for the megachurch‘s next decade, Warren took the congregation back to the first church in the New Testament for a look at what “real Christianity” is all about.

“There are a lot of things done in the name of Christianity in the church that Jesus Christ would disavow,” he lamented. “There’s fake Christianity, there’s phony Christianity, there’s pseudo-Christianity.

“I want us to look at the real deal. What does it mean to really be a follower of Jesus Christ?”

Preaching on Pentecost Sunday – the anniversary or birthday of the first church – Warren said that just as a child is born with its entire DNA, all the DNA was in the body of Christ when it was birthed more than 2,000 years ago.

Unfortunately, the churches and Christians he sees today in the 21st century are a far cry from how they were in the first century, he noted.

Aligning Saddleback with the DNA of the original church – which grew from 120 believers to dominating the Roman Empire within 300 years – Warren directed the congregation to adopt and strengthen eight characteristics of real Christianity as found in the book of Acts.

They include: supernatural power through prayer, using everybody’s language and every communication channel for mission, mobilizing everybody from kids to seniors, life-changing truth, loving support or fellowship, joyful worship, generous sacrifices and exponential growth.

“Real Christianity uses everyone’s gifts,” said Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, as he rejected passive and consumer Christians.

“Everybody’s a minister,” he stressed. In the original church, there were no audiences. Rather, everyone was a contributor and participator which led to the tremendous growth of Christianity.

Over the next 10 years, the megachurch will be launching Saddleback worship services in every city in Orange County and in other cities across the country and the world. The Lake Forest, Calif., church also plans to become the first church in history to send someone to every nation in the world to share the Good News.

“We’re going to sing until the whole world knows” is the theme song for the next decade, Warren said.

“If we went back to New Testament real Christianity, not the fake stuff … do you think we could reach more people for Jesus?” he posed.

“Without a doubt. We’d reach more people in the next 10 years than the 30 years combined.”

Speed Cameras – Thumbs Up or Down?

May 30, 2010

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
as appeared on RV Home Yet? May 8, 2010

My first experience with a speed camera was actually in New Zealand while RVing with my granddaughter. Out in the middle of nowhere a sign warned that we were approaching one. Later in our trip, we read in the newspaper that a man was contesting his ticket – he had to speed to get around someone. I doubt he beat the ticket with that excuse.jaimie_bruzenak

Arizona has had them set up on highways, more than any other state. In January, on our way to Quartzsite in our RV, and then back to Phoenix, we passed several on each trip. That is now changing. In an article at Yahoo News, Arizona is ending its program to use speed cameras along Phoenix-area highways and in vans deployed across the state. While governor, Janet Napolitano instituted the program, anticipating that it would bring in $90 million in revenues in the first year, it failed to meet its goal. In fact, many people ignore the tickets with apparently no consequences.

Governor Jan Brewer is ending the program when the contract is up on July 16. The program had received many complaints and has been the target of an initiative measure proposed for the November ballot. Local cities can still use speed cameras though not for both speeding and running red lights. (Now that makes no sense to me.)

Supporters say they slow down speeders and reduce accidents. Detractors see them as opening the door for wider “Big Brother” surveillance and are more about making money than safety. Personally, seeing how fast many Arizona drivers go, I’m in favor of them. You don’t get a ticket unless you are going at least 11 miles over the speed limit. Isn’t that enough leeway?

So, what do you think? Thumbs up for getting rid of them? Or thumbs down for caving? Or is it thumbs down for another reason?

Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

Please add your comment below or email Jamie at calamityjaimie@gmail.com

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Who Is This Man Jesus?

May 29, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

The Bible gives several occasions where this question was asked and also several answers. The first answer is given in Luke 3:22 after Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. As Jesus was praying, God spoke from heaven: “You are my Son,whowhom I love; with you I am well pleased.” God answered the question before it was asked. In Luke 4:22 the people in the synagogue asked, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

The question was asked many times during His brief ministry on earth.
– His own disciples were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and waves obey him!” (Matt. 8:27).
– The crowds in His own hometown asked the question in Matt. 13:53-56.
– The high priest asked the question in Matthew 26:63 but did not like Jesus’ answer in verse 64.
– Pilate asked the question: “Are you the king of the Jews?” (Matt. 27:11) But he refused to accept Jesus’ answer, “Yes, it is as you say,” nor did he heed the warnings of his wife in verse 19.

Many Jesus encountered during his short ministry refused to accept that He was the Son of God as was foretold by the prophets and declared by God’s voice from heaven. Nor did they accept Jesus’ own words or the demonstration of who He was by His miracles and amazing wisdom.

Jesus asked the question on at least two occasions. Once of His disciples in Matthew 16:16 and once of the Pharisees in Matt. 22:42 when He asked: “What do you think of the Christ” Whose son is he?”

The people of his day were so much like many in this 21st century. They were willing to call Him Rabbi, a Prophet, or Teacher—even a Great Teacher. However, they could not bring themselves to recognize Him for who He really was. Only Peter answering for the other disciples got it right when Jesus asked them, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” I can almost hear Peter shouting with a voice that was filled with enthusiasm: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15, 16).

The same question is still being asked today—asked of you and me. How will you answer the questions: Who is this man?

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at john@faithrescued.com

How to Cut Insurance Costs

May 28, 2010

by Mark Polk
Mark is a regular contributing author

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When it comes to your RV, one way to save a little money is to look for some discounts on your RV insurance premium. Having the proper type of insurance coverage on your RV is extremely important but it can be a little pricey too, especially when you are not always using your RV.  In this day and age finding ways to lower any of our bills is just the smart thing to do.

Let’s take a closer look at some simple ways to trim a little off of your RV insurance premium.

  • Many RV insurance companies provide discounts to customers who are members of some type of RV association or club. Discounts vary by insurance company. Call your RV insurance company agent and ask for a listing of associations or clubs you can join to receive a discount.

Note: Association discounts are often given for participants in RV manufacturing associations and clubs too.

  • Driver safety courses often qualify an RV owner for discounts with some RV insurance companies. Your insurance agent can inform you of what programs qualify for discounts.

Note: Qualified driver safety courses are often offered at large RV rallies such as at FMCA rallies.

  • A clean driving record will reduce your insurance premium. It usually takes 3 years (36 months) for accidents and moving violations/citations to stop impacting your insurance rates.
  • Another way to reduce your insurance premium is to buy multiple policies from the same insurance company. This is called a multi-policy discount. As an example, companies like National Interstate Insurance Company offer discounts when an individual buys an RV policy and a companion auto policy.
  • Homeowner’s discounts are a common way to lower your insurance premium. Ask your insurance agent for more information.
  • Some insurance companies offer discounts if you pay your premium in full up front.
  • Adding a security device to your RV such as an audible alarm will often qualify for a discount.

As an added note your credit score can heavily impact your insurance rates, so improving your credit score may improve the premium you pay. Credit usage is not allowed in all states, so it varies from state-to-state and carrier-by-carrier. Ask your insurance provider for more information about using credit scores.

Keep in mind that most insurance companies will not stack discounts. As an example, even if you are a member of multiple qualified associations and you have taken a qualified driver safety course, the insurance company will most likely give you one 5% discount.

I would like to thank National Interstate Insurance Company for its contributions to this article.

Happy Camping,
Mark

Mark Polk is founder of RV Education 101 and RV University

Cleaning RVs For Dollars

May 27, 2010

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
as appeared on RV Home Yet? May 22, 2010
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(Courtesy of Sandy McKelvey)

A woman RVer in Cathedral City, CA has found a way to make money. She cleans RVs- mostly carpets and upholstery. Because she is an RVer and specializes in RVs, she is building a client base in Coachella Valley.

It has taken time for Sandy’s RV Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning to build a client base. Doing good work, word of mouth and getting known has gradually built her business.

For some RVers who want or need extra income, having their own business is more appealing than working for someone else.  Luckily, many people are willing to pay for a service like this. They don’t have the proper equipment themselves and may not want to do it anyway. Sandy has found a demand for a service and put herself in a position to take advantage of it. She distinguishes herself by being an RVer so aware of special cleaning needs that RVs have.

If you would like to earn money through your own business think if there is a skill you have or service you can provide that other RVers want. If so, you too could make extra money. You can read more about Sandy’s business at MyDesert.com.

Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

Please add your comment below or email Jamie at calamityjaimie@gmail.com

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Ask Me If I Care!

May 26, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

We have all heard it said in a rather joking manner or seen it on T-shirts but have we ever stopped to thinkingconsider the message it conveys? Where did this attitude come from? Perhaps it is that we live in what has been called the “me” generation.

We allow ourselves to be caught up in our own world, our own jobs, our own families, and our own lives to the point that there is no time to care about others or about their trials and tribulations. Yet this is not the attitude that our Creator wants us as believers to portray. Galatians 6:2 says “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Our world is full of those who carry heavy burdens. No matter where we look we see sickness, loss of friends and loved ones, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, erupting volcanoes, starvation, homelessness, and loneliness. Each of these would cry out to us “Do You Care?”

It is obvious that as individuals we cannot carry the burdens of the entire world. Just what is our Creator-given responsibility to each voice that cries out to us? In Galatians Paul is speaking to the believers and calls us to share the burden of our fellow believers. In Romans 12:13 he says “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

But what is our responsibility to those who are not believers? Christ answers in Luke 6:27-31. He sums it up by saying, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (v. 31). In Matthew 5:16 Christ further admonishes: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  Peter restates this with the words, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (I Peter 2:12). We cannot represent a God of love to the unbelievers around us if we have an “ask me if I care” attitude.

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at john@faithrescued.com

What is Pentecost?

May 25, 2010

by Andy Rau
blogger for Cospel.com

Christian churches around the world commemorate Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended to empower the Pentecost-1024apostles of Jesus Christ. It was a foundational moment for the fledgling Christian church, and it still holds significance for Christians nearly 2000 years later.

If you aren’t familiar with this key event in church history, read the story of Pentecost in Chapter 2 of the book of Acts at BibleGateway.com.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them….

Pentecost fulfilled Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit to empower the church (Acts 1: 4-8).  Jesus’ promise, and the multilingual nature of Pentecost, made it clear that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was meant to be shared with all people, regardless of language or culture. And Peter’s sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2: 22-41) continues to serve as a blueprint for witnessing and evangelism to this day.

If it’s been a while since you’ve thought about the events of Pentecost, this weekend is a good opportunity to re-acquaint yourself with this miraculous event!

For further reading on the significance of Pentecost, see this essay on Pentecost at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

Originally published at Gospel.com.  Reprinted with permission

Flying J To Charge For Dumping

May 23, 2010

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
as appeared on RV Home Yet? May 6, 2010

Beginning May 13, 2010 Flying J will charge $10 to use their RV dump stations according to the Escapees E-news from the Escapees RV Club. Due to rising costs and misuse of the dump stations, they are instituting the charge.jaimie_250

For those with Frequent Fueler cards and RV Real Value cards, a $5 discount coupon can be added to their card, based on fuel purchases. That could help. Some dump stations will have a place to “pay at the dump,” while at others, you’ll need to go inside to pay.

RVers hate to see this. Many dump stations in rest areas along highways have already been closed- probably for the same reason. It makes it harder to find a dump unless you stay in a campground. Those who stay at Camp Wal-Mart will have to bite the bullet or see if they can find another source.

In our case, we don’t go to Flying J’s that often anyway. Usually they are so crowded it is about impossible to get to a diesel pump without waiting in line for a long time- if you can even maneuver in towing a 5th wheel or trailer.

Nick Russell has a book of free public dump stations. While some are Flying J’s will be eliminated from his list, it’s still a good deal and can help you save money. See his Web site.

Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

Please add your comment below or email Jamie at calamityjaimie@gmail.com

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Who Is This Boy Jesus?

May 22, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

Even though Jesus’ birth had created quite a stir around Bethlehem, few, including His mother and Joseph, had any idea what the future of this boy would entail. However, they were continually reminded that this young boy Jesus was not like other boys His age.

Being devout to their Jewish faith, Joseph and Mary would educate Jesus whoin that faith. Luke tells of their journey to Jerusalem to “present him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22) according to the law of Moses. When Simeon and Anna spoke about the young boy, their words caused Joseph and Mary to marvel (v33).

The news of this child’s birth reached the ears of Herod through the inquiry of wise men from the east (Matt. 2:3). Herod with the blessings of Rome was the King of Jerusalem. Fear struck his heart at the thought that a possible future King of the Jews could exist. Scheming to solve this situation, he sought a traitor among the wise men. However, being warned in a dream, the wise men did not return to tell Herod where the child was.

After the wise men had worship Jesus and returned to their own country, God appeared to Joseph in a dream warning him to take the boy child and His mother and flee to Egypt, out of Herod’s reach. Herod ordered that all boys two years old and under be put to death in and around Bethlehem. After Herod’s death, God told Joseph to return to the village of Nazareth in Galilee.

Who is this boy Jesus that brought Joseph so many dreams? Surely, both he and Mary must have asked why many times. Luke 2:40 gives us a clue: “And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.”

Faithful to their God, Joseph and Mary trained Jesus in the way he should go (Prov. 22:6). Luke 2:41-51 tells us more about who this boy was.

When Jesus was twelve years old, the family went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover as was their custom. As they journeyed home, Mary and Joseph could not find him with the group who had made the journey with them. They return to Jerusalem to search for him. “After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions” (v 46).

Mary both frustrated by the long search and perhaps somewhat angry asked, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Her tone of voice undoubtedly reflected a scolding tone as well as her frustration and fears.

Imagine Mary’s amazement and shock upon hearing the answer from her twelve year old son: “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49) Here is Jesus’ first claim about himself: “my Father’s house.” Although Gabriel’s message to Mary had perhaps grown faint over the years, the boy Jesus endeavored to remind her of who He was.

Who is this boy Jesus? By His own testimony, He is the Son of God. Who do you say He is?

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at john@faithrescued.com

Interesting RV Poll Results

May 19, 2010

by Mark Polk
Mark is a regular contributing author

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Several months ago I put an article together showing the results of our weekly e-newsletter RV polls. I find it interesting to review these poll results occasionally, and think many other RVers find the poll results of a targeted RV audience interesting too.

Of course the outcome of any poll depends on several factors like what type of poll it is, how the questions are presented, who is asking the questions and of course who does and does not participate in the poll.

Our weekly RV poll is not a scientific poll, a political poll or a marketing poll. It is basically used to give me some idea of what our newsletter readers are interested in, how they use their RVs and just for the fun of it.

So, here is a look back at some past polls and how the participants responded.

  • 30% of the participants have experienced problems with rodent control in their RV’s and 70% have not.
  • 48% have spent a night in a Wal-Mart parking lot and 52% have not. Of those, 58% asked permission to stay in the Wal-Mart parking lot and 42% did not.
  • 68% connect to the internet every day when traveling by RV and 32% do not. 82% experience trouble getting an internet connection on the road and 16% do not. 58% of the respondents depend on free Wi-Fi to connect, 27% used a wireless card to connect and 15% relied on other methods like paid Wi-Fi, cell phones and satellite service.
  • When asked who drove the most 92% responded male, 5% female, 1% female traveling alone and 2% male traveling alone.
  • 74% said their RV came with a spare tire and 26 % did not get a spare when they purchased their RV.
  • 84% make campground reservations in advance and 16% do not.
  • 9% of respondents see closing state parks as a way to decrease state budgets and 91% do not.
  • 55% are currently financing their RV and 45% are not. 51% of those financed think they owe more than the RV is worth and 49% do not think they owe more than the RV is worth.
  • 85% of participants have an Emergency Roadside Service (ERS) plan and 15% do not.
  • 18% travel 200 miles or less per day during RV trips, 47% average 300 miles per day, 26% average 400 miles per day and 9% travel 500 or more miles per day.
  • 54% own motorized RV’s and 46% own towable RV’s.
  • 94% use rest stops along the way when traveling by RV and 6% do not.
  • At one time or another 35% of respondents have had a damaged RV holding tank waste valve and 65% never have. Of those with damaged waste valves 58% repaired it themselves and 42% did not attempt repairs.
  • 36% use some type of digital line monitor to monitor campground electricity and 65% do not. 40% always test the campground wiring prior to plugging the RV in and 60% do not.
  • 82% check the tire pressure before each trip and 18% don’t.
  • 58% use checklists to perform maintenance and routine tasks on their RV and 42% do not.
  • 12% of the respondents have work camped before and 88% have not.
  • 90% said they use environmentally friendly holding tank chemicals and 10% don’t.
  • 63% use their RV in the winter and 37% don’t.
  • 70% have stayed in a friends or relatives driveway before and 30% have not.
  • 19% frequently stay at state or federal campgrounds, 34% stay at private campgrounds, 5% stay at public campgrounds and 42% stay at a combination of all three.
  • 67% use a pre-departure checklist when they RV and 33% don’t.
  • 98% have one or more slide outs on their RV and 2% don’t have any slide outs.

Well that brings us up to date on the poll results. When we gather more results I will keep you posted.

Happy Camping,
Mark

Mark Polk is founder of RV Education 101 and RV University

Who Is This?

May 17, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

Over the next few weeks we will consider the question that was asked about Jesus Christ. It is the most important question ever asked about any individual. It is a question each of us must answer.

First let’s consider “Who Is This Baby Jesus?” Who is this Baby whose birthday has whobeen celebrated for over two thousand years? Luke 1:26-28 reveals that He was no ordinary baby like those being born to married Jewish women. Mary, the mother of this Baby, was a virgin only engaged to Joseph who was of the lineage of David.

According to Matthew chapter 1, Joseph being a righteous man was shocked with the news that Mary was soon to bear a child. His human reaction was at first to divorce her. Only after he was visited by an angel did he determine to take Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:18-21). Fear also struck the heart of Mary as she heard the voice of the angel Gabriel. His words troubled her as she pondered his message. “How will this be,” she inquired of Gabriel, “since I am a virgin” (Luke 1:34).

Just who is this Baby laid in a manger—a most unlikely bed for “the Son of the most high” (Luke 1:32). Although she did not fully understand her mission in God’s plan for man’s salvation, Mary submitted to being the Lord’s servant and doing His will (Luke 1:38).

Who is this Baby so important to the world that God chose to announce His birth to shepherds with a chorus of angels and provide specific directions to His birthplace?

In an effort to answer that question, it would seem that the most accurate information could be obtained from the mother of the Baby. When a newborn is found abandoned, every effort is made to find the mother in order to verify its heritage, ancestry, and name. Any other source of information could be erroneous, hearsay, or speculative.

Mary the mother of this Baby knew who He was. The shepherds found everything to be as the angles told them. As they told their story “all who heard it were amazed” (Luke 2:18). Mary knew. Luke 2:19 says, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Listen to Mary’s song of praise to God in Luke 1:46-55 as she recalled the words of Gabriel: “the holy one to be born, will be called the Son of God.”

Will you believe that God loved you so much that He sent His Son to this earth for you? He did—even if you choose not to believe it. The choice is yours!

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at john@faithrescued.com

Too Many Dogs in Campgrounds?

May 16, 2010

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
as appeared on RV Home Yet? May 10, 2010

While KOA CEO Jim Rogers is throwing out the welcome mat for dogs at his parks according to RV Daily Report, Cherry Creek State Park in Colorado is having problems because so many dogs and other users use the off-leash areas.jaimie_250

Rogers says that 40 percent of their customers travel with a dog, and that number is growing. Many KOAs provide pet parks, water stations, grassy fields, doggy playgrounds and supplies of biscuits, treats and more at its locations. KOAs are happy to see dog owners.

Cherry Creek State Park, as well as Chatfield State park, are finding that use of their off-leash areas have grown in popularity so much, it is causing conflicts and damage. Other users such as horseback riders and bicyclists are sometimes in conflict with dog users, especially dog trainers. The area was originally designated as an area for training hunting dogs. Hundreds of dog owners can use the area in a day, day after day, and the grass is worn down, the soil compacted. Those parks are looking at solutions. Not only campers and RVers use these areas, but many locals.

As long as people pick up after their pets and a dog doesn’t go after me, I’m happy to let them be. At KOAs and other smaller RV parks, often the doggy areas are fenced so other visitors don’t have to come in contact with a loose dog. At Cherry Creek, the area sounds enormous and, on weekends, chaotic. Maybe too much of a good thing? Perhaps one of our readers has actually spent time at Cherry Creek or Chatfield and can give us the scoop. (ha!) In the meantime, I’ll probably pick another place to stay. I like pets and I’m more comfortable when they are under control on a leash!
Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

Please add your comment below or email Jamie at calamityjaimie@gmail.com

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