Thursday, November 30, 2006

Contemporary Worship

I have experienced some contemporary worship services that I thought were excellent times of worship.  I've also been in some that seem to be all about emotion but lack any serious content - what I think of as entertainment, not worship.  The Mosaic church, in California (where else?) is, I believe, of the former type.  They are contemporary in worship style but also provide sound teaching packaged for the younger generations (which from my perspective anymore seem to make up most of the population!)

Mosaic video tapes many of their Sunday services and make them available on the Internet as video podcasts.  The podcasts are about an hour in length so they are large video files - 200+ MB each.  I have posted the latest Mosaic service on the web.  This one is a summary of a series of previous messages they offered titled "Life's Toughest Questions".  No doubt the content of this service would be even more meaningful if you had viewed each of the services in the series.  Even so, I believe this video is an excellent illustration of how it is possible to be culturally relevant without compromising the message of the Gospel.

I posted the video file (MPG4) on Pando because of its large size.  You will need to follow the easy instruction to install Pando on your computer to download the file.  Pando does not pose a risk for spyware, adware, or etc., nor does it do anything nasty to your computer.  Even with the Pando high-speed file transfer it will take you a while to download but I believe it is worth the time.  The alter call at the end of the service is especially anointed.

Click on "Requires Pando" in the graphic below if you do not yet have Pando installed.

To start the download click on the "download" button in the graphic below.  (If you don't see the graphic or have trouble then then click here.)

Pando Package

I am very interested in your comments after viewing the service.  Come back to this page and click on COMMENTS below to tell me what you think of the service.

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Abbott & Costello

This is fun for us older folks who remember the original!

You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello, but too old to really understand computers to fully appreciate this. For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, enjoy, reflect and remember what real comedians were like. Those of you who are too young to remember this hilarious duo should make every attempt to watch their videos, DVD's or search for them on the "oldies" TV channel. It will be worth your time to really laugh.

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, "Who' s on First?" might have gone something like this:


ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELLO: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


A few days later:

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on "START."

With thanks to Rich Hosea for sharing!

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Sunday, November 26, 2006

‘Love tucked inside an e-mail’

A ministry opportunity for Christian women. 

Urgent Call For North American Christian Female Pen Pals To Become Involved In ‘Friendship Evangelism’ With New Friends In Taiwan And China...

Source: Read the entire article

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Strasburg, VA

Friday afternoon Margaret and I drove to Strasburg, VA to attend a surprise 40th anniversary celebration for our friends Bill and Donna.  Their sons' families, Joey & Dean, organized the event which was held at the Hotel Strasburg.


Hotel Strasburg

The hotel where the celebration was held and where we stayed Friday night.


Bill and Donna were completely taken by surprise.  They had no idea what was planned.


Sons Dean (stripped shirt) & Joey, with their spouses greet Bill & Donna

You can see the rest of the pictures from the celebration here.

We had made arrangements for a late checkout on Saturday so we could sleep in the next morning.  Our daughter Sheri and grandson Patrick Sean then joined us for lunch at the hotel

Margaret & Sheri

Sheri is on the prayer list because of an as yet undiagnosed major problem with her autoimmune system.  Praise the Lord she was experiencing only minor pains today!

Grandson Patrick Sean

Grandson Patrick Sean

Friday, November 24, 2006

Military Thanksgiving

This is a very appropriate reminder to remember the men and women in the military as a significant part of what we have to be thankful for.  Click here to see an excellent short presentation.  (With thanks to driver Charles for sharing this).

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wide Asleep in Minnesota

This is an awesome testimony! 

How an unassuming shoe repairman battled his fear of the cold to feed and house the homeless.
By Margaret Terry

Wide Asleep in Minnesota

Bob Fisher

People call him "Shoe Bob," but his real name is Bob Fisher. He owns a small shoe repair shop tucked in a corner of a little strip mall in Wayzata, Minnesota. Average height, average build. Shoe Bob looks like your average, hard-working, churchgoing guy...

Source: Wide Asleep in Minnesota - Today's Christian

Richard Dawkins Foundation plan to supply atheist literature to schools

 An interesting story on the ongoing efforts against religion.

Press release from AiG–UK

November 22, 2006

According to journalist Steven Swinford, writing in the Sunday Times, the Richard Dawkins Foundation is planning to raise money to send anti-religious books and pamphlets to state schools in the UK. This plan has already angered such groups as the Church of England and Christian Aid.

Source: AiG Article

Monday, November 20, 2006

New Service ShopInFaith


CCN, November 20, 2006 - /Christian Newswire/ -- In the highly competitive world of on-line shopping, sets itself apart by promoting the reason for the Christmas season – the birth of Jesus.
Featuring over 50 of today’s top on-line retailers, the website provides a simple way to complete all of your Christmas shopping at your computer. welcomes you with a Merry Christmas, rarely heard in today’s retail world

Source: View Press Release

Friday, November 17, 2006

Gay penguin book shakes up Ill. school

 Each day I wonder what will they try next?

SHILOH, Ill. - A picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin is getting a chilly reception among some parents who worry about the book's availability to children — and the reluctance of school administrators to restrict access to it.

Source: Read the entire article on Yahoo! News

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Father O'Malley

Father O'Malley rose from his bed. It was a fine spring day in his new Texas mission parish. He walked to the window of his bedroom to get a deep breath of the beautiful day outside. He then noticed there was a jackass
lying dead in the middle of his front lawn.

He promptly called the local police station. The conversation went like this:

"Good morning. This is Sergeant Jones. How might I help you?"

"And the best of the day te yerself. This is Father O'Malley at St.Brigid's.
There's a jackass lying dead in me front lawn. Would ye be so kind as to
send a couple o'yer lads to take care of the matter?"

Sergeant Jones, considering himself to be quite a wit, replied with a smirk,
"Well now father, it was always my impression that you people took care of
last rites!"

There was silence on the line for a long moment.  Father O'Malley then replied: "Aye, tis certainly true, but we are also obliged to notify the next of kin."

With thanks to Paige Orange for sharing this with us.

Chaplain Sam Houchins

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Salem Web Network Launches Lightsource.Com


CAMARILLO, California, November 13, 2006 - /Christian Newswire/ -- Salem Web Network (SWN), a Salem Communications (NASDAQ:SALM) company, today announced its latest online initiative – The interactive website features on- demand video from leading national and international ministries, building upon SWN’s previous success with audio portal, and – the world’s largest Christian website.

“With the success of YouTube and increased broadband penetration, 2006 has been the year of video online,” said Rick Killingsworth, Salem Web Network’s vice president of new media. “Once again, Salem is leading the way into the next generation of ministry broadcasting by offering this exciting new video platform to connect ministries with Christians online. “

Source: View Press Release

Monday, November 13, 2006

Abortion After the Fact

In Britain, they want to open up the discussion on whether abortion can happen sometime after the baby has already been born.

Doctors involved in childbirth are calling for an open discussion about the ethics of euthanasia for the sickest of newborn babies. The option to end the suffering of a severely damaged newborn baby - who might have been aborted if the parents had known earlier the extent of its disabilities and potential suffering - should be discussed, says the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in its evidence to an inquiry by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, which examines ethical issues raised by new developments.

The college says the Nuffield’s working group should “think more radically about non-resuscitation, withdrawal of treatment decisions, the best-interests test and active euthanasia as they are means of widening the management options available to the sickest of newborns”.

The inquiry is looking into “the ethics of prolonging life in fetuses and the newborn”. Euthanasia was not originally on the agenda, because of its illegality. But the RCOG submission has persuaded the inquiry to broaden its investigation, although any recommendation favoring euthanasia for newborns is highly unlikely before a change in the law.

Once one envelope has been successfully pushed aside, the next lies not that far away. The question of extraordinary lifesaving steps is one thing, but “active euthanasia” brings the matter into a whole new light. One has to wonder where the ethics and morality of those wanting such discussions to take place have gone.

And here’s an interesting attempt at selling the idea.

The college ethics committee tells the inquiry it feels euthanasia “has to be covered and debated for completion and consistency’s sake … if life-shortening and deliberate interventions to kill infants were available, they might have an impact on obstetric decision making, even preventing some late abortions, as some parents would be more confident about continuing a pregnancy and taking a risk on outcome.” It points out that a pregnant woman who discovers at 28 weeks that her baby has a serious abnormality can have an abortion. Parents of a baby born at 24 weeks with the same abnormality have no such option.

“See, if this were an option, then we’d have more babies carried to term. Isn’t that wonderful? Only then would be bother with the eugenics. And really now, isn’t killing an already-born preemie just the same as a late-term abortion anyway?”

Abortion, being commonplace in our society, is now the foundation on which we start removing the infirm and the helpless. A comment on the Redstate post that gets the hat tip notes this:

I remember fairly recently they just uncovered a mass grave filled with Hitler’s first victims. They weren’t Jews, Gays, Gypsies or any other people group. They were the disabled and infirm. Now the reason they were killed was for the perfection of the race, but I also don’t swallow the “it is for their own good” argument-especially when those who are being put out of the misery may not have a voice or a choice.

Unfettered abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia and eugenics are all faces of the same thing; a lack of respect for life.

Source: Considerettes

Everything Old is New Again

Last night my blog's host system implemented a major software upgrade.  As a result some of my older blog posts were republished, making them appear to be new posts.  Sorry about the confusion this has caused!

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Cow Town, NJ

Margaret & I, Chaplain Tom & Linda Kramer, and Chaplain David Weaver went to NJ yesterday to attend a TFC banquet. On the way to the banquet we go past Cow Town, NJ. Cow Town is an awesome place to spend an afternoon, especially on such a gorgeous day as we had yesterday.

Cow Town is an eclectic mixture of vendors and food stands scattered throughout a large site which includes various buildings and open-air stalls. It is sort of a giant flea market and yard sale.

Cow Town New Jersey

The main entrance to the largest building.

The TFC Elkton Crowd

Left to Right: Linda Kramer; Chaplain David Weaver; Margaret; and Chaplain Tom Kramer

Outside Vendors

One of the many outside areas with vendors along either side

Inside Vendors

Typical of the areas inside the buildings

Cow Town is open every Tuesday and Saturday. In the summer they host professional rodeo in an arena on the site. I can remember going to the rodeo when I was a kid. Now we take our grandkids to see the rodeo when they come to visit in the summer time.

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Friday, November 10, 2006

HomeFront Christian Outreach Dinner 11/9/06

Last night Volunteer Chaplain Ron Jones came over after work to man the chapel for a couple of hours so Margaret and I could attend a covered dish dinner for HomeFront Christian Outreach.  The dinner was held at New London Baptist Church just a few miles north of Elkton in New London, PA.  It was the kick-off event for HomeFront's "A December to remember" fund raising drive to provide food, clothing, and presents for 250 needy families this Christmas.

If you have Microsoft PowerPoint you can download a copy of the presentation (29 MB) that was shown last night by clicking here.

HomeFront currently serves 650+ meals each month via a mobile soup kitchen that they setup in church parking lots around the area plus offer food and clothing to those in need - as well as share the Good News with those people.

Larry & Pastor Mike

Larry Wyatt, Founder of HomeFront, with Pastor Mike, Pastor of New London Baptist Church


It was a covered dish meal with three tables loaded with mostly home-made dishes.  Scrumptious!


There was also time for good fellowship.  That is Margaret with her back to the camera at the near table.  We sat with friends from First Baptist Church of Elkton, Nelson Ditzler and his family.  Nelson is a truck driver and has been a speaker at the monthly TFC Elkton Prayer Breakfast.

In His Name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New Baby!

Prayer partners and friends Chuck and Tammy Talley have a new daughter, Avery. Avery was born yesterday morning at 10:15 A.M. and was 7 lbs 10 oz. Mom and daughter are doing fine. Praise the Lord!

Margaret and I went to see the new girl this afternoon and to have prayer with them. Tammy expects to be discharged from the hospital tomorrow.

Avery & Tammy

Other people's babies are so cute!

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Florida Biker and His Babe


Hey, when your kids take away your driver's problem!

(With thanks to P.J.)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Cats Do The Craziest Things!

This is side-splitting stuff! Enjoy.

The Haggard Truth


What are Christian leaders to make of the spectacularly painful experience of watching Ted Haggard this past week? The president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of giga-church New Life Community in Colorado Springs, Colorado, gradually admitted to purchasing methamphetamines and the services of a male prostitute. We asked Leadership editor-at-large Gordon MacDonald to reflect on what we should learn from this episode.

Source: Leadership Blog: Out of Ur

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Church’s Drive to Digitize

 This is a very thoughtful posting about the church's view of technology.  Click on the Source link below to read the entire article.

The Church’s Drive to Digitize

Posted on November 4, 2006

Prepare for a hefty read.  Sometimes comments are so helpful they have to be made into posts.  There is simply no replacement for a timely word, in this case delivered by a reliable expert.  Anthony Coppedge is a church media consultant, author and all around self-described techno-geek.   He recently commented on a Social Bookmarking post at The Digital Sanctuary.

Although Anthony describes his comments as "his 3 cents worth" I think what he actually contributed is a valuable set of reflections on the leveraging of technology by the Church.  You won't find flashy images and links in this lengthy post, simply excellent advice.  I'm moving Anthony from the comment section to this post with his permission:

Source: The Digital Sanctuary

Thursday, November 02, 2006



Do you want a website where you can get safe Christian Podcasts? Take a look at there seems to be a wide selection of content to choose from, I found it on Bill Seaver’s Microexplosion. Also if you fancy setting up your own podcast you can though you will have to pay. The layout of the site is very similar to the way Odeo was set up so if you are a fan there won’t be any difficulties finding your way around. Talking of Odeo,

Source: Blog Ministry