Thursday, March 29, 2007

catalyst podcast and anberlin

Just a few thoughts this afternoon. I have been blown away by the Catalyst Podcast available of course on God's gift to information and music Itunes. If you are looking for a place to connect with some of the most forward thinking leaders today who are passionate about the local church and spreading Jesus Christ to the nations then this is a great place for you to go. Here in the past few weeks I have been able to listen to Rob Bell, Rick McKinley, and many others and just here what God is doing in their lives and the churches they lead. Go check it out...also check our great resource...

On t e cover of Relevant was the band Anberlin. Got the cd last week and have loved it. Go download it or pick it up at the store, whatever store the store is...all stores...ANBERLIN.

Busy weekend coming! more to come later - maybe some pics from our High School Formal we put on each year. Great time, oh yea, get to see the Orioles and Nationals on Friday with some friends. it should be great!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

my truck was really dirty...

It was like 80 degrees today so I came home as quick as I could, totally did not go to a association meeting, ate dinner with the girls, pushed them both on the swings, THEN with tons of daylight Kozbi and I went to wash my truck for the first time by hand this spring. I am addicted to washing my vehicles, I can not understand not doing it. I love turning the music up and getting the hose out and washing my truck. Right now I have to apologize to all of Virginia for having to look at my truck. It was amazingly dirty. It was caked with a thick coat of grime and the inside looked like a tornado hit it. With Kozbi's help we got both inside and outside clean. Man I feel like a new man with a clean truck. There is something about a clean vehicle that makes me smile. Now if I can get my office to look like that I will be ok.

Props to UT, Vandy and Memphis for playing hard in the sweet 16. We came up a few points short but let me say for the final time that there were three teams in the sweet 16 from TN and none from the Commonwealth of Kentucky or Virginia.

It was great to see all our teens back at Going Public at {regroup} this past wed. Hope to see a ton more this week and next! My mom comes to Va this weekend - SOOOO Weee...moma is here!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

sabbath...hard to take...

I tried something this week it was harder than I thought. I tried to slow down and take a true sabbath rest. I have been pondering how to take a true time of rest over the past few months. I am so drawn to work through my day of rest during the week. The Bible teaches of the sabbath since God founded the idea in the middle of creation. God created for 6 days and on the 7th rested. he stopped creating. he stopped producing. he took time to just look around at the creation He called "good". Why do I struggle in taking this day to stop and look back and rest in what has been "created" in the past week. I think I struggle because I love being in control, I am afraid that something will go wrong, I am afraid of not being present in the world I oversee. I think it boils down to the fact that I struggle with trusting God to take care of things when I am away. If you get a chance listen to Rob Bell talk about sabbath rest. He takes one day a week and stops creating. No sermon prep, no emails, no calls to handle details for the weekend service. it is touch but it works for him and keeps him mentally sane. I took Friday and did not turn my PC on. AHHHHHHHH it was so hard but I found as the day went along I was just fine. I spend more time reading, thinking, and resting than I had in weeks. I am not sure if I can keep it up but I am going to work toward this practice each week. One day - not creating - trusting God to take care of HIS ministry (it is not mine anyway!) On Saturday I got up and did not turn the PC on until after 11 AM, guess what. Everything was fine in my inbox.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Go Vols! Go SEC!

Well - this weekend is just glorious. I played Golf on Thursday...Tennessee won today, my dad made it here to VA. Great weekend and Saturday is not even here yet! Go Vols!

My dad is here to help put in some new counter tops and do some fixing of things around my house. It is always fun to hang out with dad and get stuff done. I always learn jank and that is cool. Today ON MY OWN I fixed a ceiling fan switch that had gone bad. I am so proud of myself.

Kid report - Kelyn is so better, she is back to her old self. Praise God!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

my girls and a wild week...

Thursday Kelyn had a fever and we decided to hit the doctor, we hate going to the doctor but we give every once in a while. we found out that our family was facing its first ear infection for one of our kids. We made it through almost 4 years of Kozbi's life without an ear infection! It was our time but man it has been a hard run. Kelyn has been waking up in the middle of the night and staying up for 2 hours, she has not been napping good, and all the other stuff that comes with a sick little girl. She is a trooper and did well. Her fever broker Sunday and she has had such a good day. Today I had 2 moments with my girls that I will cherish. Kelyn slept in her crib this afternoon for about an hour and then woke up! She was still tired so I sat in the chair and rocked her to sleep and then fell asleep with her there in the rocking chair. I was out with her for about another hour. YEA for us...then after a long afternoon of playing outside Koz crawled up in my lap tonight and watched the Nascar race fro Vegas. I know this is a little redneck but it was sweet to hear her ask about all the cars and why they were going so fast. We even got to see the McDonald's car crash! Overall the afternoon was priceless.

Oh yea - Tennessee 5 seed and Vandy 6 seed - YEA! I have UT going to the sweet 16!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Mississippii College Game tonight...Go Choctaws!

Well, I got invited to go and see MC play in the sweet 16 of division 3 college basketball and well let me put this nice, MC got their hat handed to them. The played hard but could not hit the broad side of a barn, it was touch to see. MC is a great school where a ton of our students go to college and we have a few alums on staff with us. Go MC BUT the game was played at Virginia Wesleyan College here in Hampton Roads and of course it is a Methodist college. As the game went along the student section revealed a little bit of the character pushed at VWC as they yelled "bull BEEP" (insert expletive) after many calls made by the refs. I am no puritan and I never get frustrated when those things are shouted at the University of Tennessee or UK or any university out there that does not sell itself as a "Christian" institution, BUT I do struggle when schools use Christ to get parents to send kids to them and then show no difference in leadership or character than any other school. There should be something different about how students who follow Christ or claim Christ or go to a Christian College act, live, party, hang out, study, work, or just go to a ball game. I am all about going crazy at games, saying crazy stuff, yelling at refs, but man - come on. it would have been sweet if the leadership of the school had of stopped the game and handled the situation but they did not, they just watched a good game and went on. I guess I am just tired of universities using Christ to sell their school and then having nothing distinctive about they way their school operates. My suggestion to all of you out there looking for a "Christian" undergrad experience - do what Christ would do, find a campus that needs the message of Salvation lived out and shared and then go there and become a missionary for 4 years! Lets quit huddling up and go live our faith out and yes I went to the Middle Tennessee State University, GO BLUE RAIDERS!

If you are gonna go to a "Christian" school go to one that actually is making a difference for Christ...Union, Sanford, Ouachita, Mississippi College, or Liberty just to name a few. No school is perfect but find a school who actually hires profs that believe the Bible is God's Word then you might be OK. Find a school that is actively leading their students to share Christ in the community and you might be on the right track. Find a school who would stop a game and address the student body for shouting BS in a game.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

this week...March madness is here!

Well, it is March and I am excited about Tennessee making it into the Big Dance and playing this weekend in the SEC tournament. I am hoping that we make a good show in both tournaments. Bruce Pearl has done such a great job leading a team that is not as talented as last years team. Bruce has energy but he treats his players with respect and always stays in control. he sweats a ton but hey, sweating is good for ya, I guess. I would love to see UT make it to the sweet 16. I am going to see Mississippi College play b-ball here in VA this weekend. They are in the Division 2 sweet 16 and we have a bunch of kids that go there so here is goes...GO MC! That is all about basketball...

My dad is coming in next weekend and I am counting the days. I have not seen dad since Christmas and I miss him for sure. We are gonna fix some stuff around the house and hang out. I am stoked about installing new counter tops...yea it is gonna be fun. It is always to do stuff like this with dad, last year we built a swing set, that was cool. I feel manly when I build jank - go figure.

Keeping up with American Idol, All I have to say is go Chris Sly...that cat sang a Mute Math song and it was sweet. I am also stoked about 24 - man it is a great season. I want my tivo - I need a DVR.

Me and God - well that is always a journey. God has really been teaching me to just seek him and rest in Him all at the same time. He is enough. I am reading some great books right now. Rick McKinley's book Beautiful Mess has been so good. Rick is revealing what life looks like when we live aware of being a part of the Kingdom of God. It is so amazing to look to Jesus as King Jesus, as the ruler he is. reading the books of Acts right now in the morning and man is it fun to see what God did through the birthing of a movement. The message of Jesus could not be stopped by the religious leaders religious controllers in the days of Christ and it will not be held back by any force today. God is amazing.

Friday, March 2, 2007

thoughts from Willow Creek this week...

Let me say that the Shift Student Ministry Conference here at Willow Creek has been an amazing time of thought, fun, prayer, worship, and learning. Brandon and I have been here since Monday and we have been challenged by some new thoughts from scripture for God himself and some new ideas for how we connect students to Jesus Christ in 2007. We are not be in every moment of the session people, we have dragged in late for 2 mornings just in time to hear the speaker because we were braking down ideas of IHOP. God has really been working through all of the sessions and revealing some central ideas for ministry today. I am gonna list of a few ideas we are struggling with ad thinking through...

1. Students need the permission to own our ministry and create the experience they are immersed in through our ministry. Our goal is to help them create as the worship...teach, mentor think, discuss...
2. The story of Jesus Christ is the greatest story in all of humanity but people all across America do not see the greatness of that story. We have been telling a poor version of the story of Jesus to our communities. We must begin to tell the story in a way that reveals the great adventure of living in, for, and through Christ.
3. Teens are drowning in technology that sometimes does not make their life easier but more complex. With that said technology, is a part of the daily lives of our teens and they are creating community online. We can and must use this gift to enter and create good in a the middle of darkness...we must take the light of Christ to the darkness, not complain about it.
4. The North Point Model of student ministry is one I am very intrigued by. They are creating intense and relevant worship enviroments connected with the idea that every kids needs a mentoring relationship in a small group. Group life is elevated, connection is elevated, thought and discussion are elevated. We were able to sit in a meeting with Kevin Ragsdale to hear about the process and it was a great time to think.
5. Living life with a few kids is a must for me as a youth pastor - I must model mentoring, I must follow the path of Christ and take a few aside to model and life life with them. This is not my strength but man I need to find a way.

Last night Brandon and I went to Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Chicago then got to see Wicked! Hard Rock gave me the best fajitas I have had in a while not to mention I got to see a sweet Death Cab for Cutie video and get a hard Rock T for way to much money. WOW, Wicked just took a jump over Fiddler on the Roof as my favorite Broadway production. it was simply amazing. I always walk away from those kind of experience wondering why the church is not that creative, why we have pushed creative minds so far away that we can not dream that kind of experience. MAN - if you have never seen Wicked you need to, it is packed with social commentary and thought about life. Simply amazing...

well - have to go, Our God is Great!