The depth of God
One of the things that drives me is the ever-present realization that my current life is just one second from the rest of eternity. There is a balance between (1) always knowing your life is on the edge of forever and (2) getting so caught up with the thought of the next life that you don’t' make much of an impact with this one. I haven’t taken a survey but I'd be willing to propose that true leaders in Christianity have had a great grasp of these two realizations. Knowing that your life is nothing (compared to God) and yet realizing that your life is in fact everything (compared to the task). My life is all I have to offer the Kingdom.
The trick is taking what is so well known to me and other Christian leaders and etching it into the lives of those who desire to be called 'disciples'. In the life of Christ I see things that are simple... getting forgiveness from God through Christ or getting served by Christ... but one thing that was never mentioned as easy was the concept of being a true disciple. Live with ridicule from the world and yet maintain a burning passion in your heart to see those same people come to realize and Know their God...
Now we're movin'
At lunch today I got a visit from the UPS man. My wife had ordered a "Gazelle" fitness trainer dealio... put it together after mowing the lawn today... This 'honey-do' stuff is much more work than I thought it'd be. Together with a treamill and a sit-up bench I got last week, our guest room has no room for guests now. Ohh well, we'll have no friends, but we'll be in shape...
Feelin' like Forest Gump
Kristy and I really enjoyed our evening last night. For our Anniversary we went to a place called "Captain Georges Seafood Resturant" in Pongo. I can explain the resturant's name, but not the town. Anyway, the meal was a gift to us from some of our youth staff and a few youth. The resturant serves good seafood (some of my fav. food) and steak and stuff. We enjoyed it and then met up with some of our kids who were wrapping up an evening event. Stopped by DQ and goofed around before going home.
Had lunch today at Todd Jurich's Bistro in Norfolk. Kristy works as a legal secretary at Kaufman and Canoles, a large law firm. For "Professional Administrators Day" she was given her bosses credit card. He's a very nice man who takes care of his employees. We had a great meal. I'm enjoying culture.
What will they think of next? Check out Introducing Idea Cookies from Stewart's Kitchen. Kristy's law firm bought these at $9.50 per box. Wild.
Do you like sarcasm? Do you enjoy someone being real? If you're like me, you'll enjoy the new blog of Heather Arment. Heather is the sister of Ben, a church planting Pastor in Northern Virginia. Ben and I share some passions about 'church' and life. The Arment family seems to be very creative and talented as a whole. O' if I were to be more creative...
Whowooo... My wonderful wife surprised me today with a Palm Handheld. She's a great woman! (she was before the gift)
I just realized that I didnt' update the info below on Saturday.
Yard Sale- The kids sold over $850 worth of stuff so that was nice. The Sonlight Softball team won 2nd place in the weekend tournament. The cool thing was that this is the first time our church has ever played and the first time that most of these guys have played on a competitive level in softball. It's a great experience for the guys to get to know one another. On Sunday I saw many previously unknown guys talking with some 'regulars'. Community can be formed in many ways... The 'circles' of friends in the hallways grew larger after a day of softball. That's 'church'...
Ed Young has a new book out called 'High Definition Living'- Bringing Clarity to Your Life's Mission.
Steven (Our Worship Pastor) picked it up this week. I read a chapter and will soon purchase my copy as well.
More and more I'm seeing that there are others out there who have the same passion for people to simply Know God. I've learned that many church leaders are somewhat hesitant to allow Christianity to be proclaimed as that simple. There is always something else we have to do, some good deed (although we profess works have nothing to do with Salvation) that needs to be done. I find that many people expect those who do not know Christ to act like they do. It's kinda wild to me how the blueprints are pretty well defined in scripture, yet we run to find stuff to add to the plan. We worry in the church about so many side issues that I can't see God even caring about.
Another thought. Jesus died for all of my sins (and yours). How many of your sins were in the 'future' at the time that he died? All of them. Why is it that people spread a gospel that bashes the heads of others over their short-comings instead of cultivating a growth in their lives? We're more concerned with 'women in ministry', 'speaking in tounges', 'level of the Holy Spirit', 'drinking a sin?', smoking, sex-drugs-and rock and roll than we are concerned with connecting people to the living God. I sometimes wonder if the 'church' shouldn't re-think how much time we spend on looking into finding sins in one-anothers lives and how much more effectively the name of Christ would be shared if we used that time to inspire others to get to Know God (John 17:3).
He's a pretty cool God...
You have GOT to check out what Ed Young did this weekend at Fellowship Church. Creativity gone wild. (If you're short on time the clip I'm pumped about is between 6:30 and 9:30)
It's late (or early depending on your look on life, but that's another story) and I'm about to hit the bed for a few hours and then a very long day tomorrow. The youth department is having a Yard Sale tomorrow morning (I have to get up in about 4 hours) and then around noon I will try and join some of the men of Sonlight for our Softball Tournament (city-wide church league). After I get totally pooped from that, I'll try and spend some quality time with my wonderful wife (anniversary next Sunday) and sleep only to get up for one of the most exciting days in the year as far as Sundays go. I'm really praying that many guests will be able to come and hear about who God is and how much love he has for them.
Fundraising for youth ministries?: Pro or Con?
Con. I've really thought about what we ('the church') do when we put kids out to sell cookies, wash cars, sell candies, subs and their personal t-shirts or anything else they can pawn off so they can go away for a week of camp or serve people for a week. In the 6 months leading to this one week, most kids end up focusing on the dollars of the trip rather than the purpose of the trip. They are forced to focus on receipts and hearing "no thankyou, I already have a pot-holder with a cross on it". I'm all for teens on their own working in their neighborhood raking leaves or mowing grass if that's how they choose to raise funds, but I'm also for 'the church' being active in the lives of everyone... not just those with bank accounts. (That last line is not a reflection at all of my current ministry, I assure you).
Also, I believe our kids need to learn sacraficial service. By selling their souls (or old toasters and rusted frying pans) our kids tend to think about the dollar value of their work. They think about mowing a lawn for someone as "yeah, i'll do it for $20, but not for free" Then we develop greedy Christians who grow up to be ummm..... older greedy Christians.... There's a way to solve this one I'm certain. Maybe its me as the Pastor of these kids doing more local trips and bringing down the cost of camp and mission trips? Maybe it's 2 large fundraisers instead of 22 small ones. Maybe it's No 'church ordained' fundraisers at all.... ::Thinking:: ::Thinking::
It was 5 years ago today that I asked my wife to be my 'girlfriend'. Our 2nd wedding Anniversary is coming up on April 27th.
Been a while since I've posted with both consistency and thought. I kinda go through these funks where I don't care to discuss what's going on in my head with the world. Apologies to those who read looking for insight... I'm human too :)
God's a pretty cool God. This week went well at Sonlight. We started an 'experiment' with double services. With nearly no hitches we pulled off adding a second service and our Worship team under Steven's direction did an incredible job at "He chose the nails" (a multimedia/worship experience). It was great to see so many talented people of Sonlight sharing their gifts. I later shared with Steven how awesome it is that God spends a lifetime molding you for just what he desires at each stage of your life. As you submit to him you are being prepared for the future. So many people pulled off a great production. Steven's been at Sonlight for less than 2 years and there were 13 singers involved with sound and lighting crews. He's done a great job from scratch. God's cool.
Our youth service has been moved up to the 9am service. We did this following some research I did in our database. I looked at the structure of the families our youth ministry impacts. I found that 13 different families who have teens in our department also have one or more children in our children's department. For us to have a successful early service and effectively separate the classrooms (our main goal in going to 2 services), we decided to make the move with the youth department. A few years ago I would have looked to the interests of our youth department first (asking teens to get up at 8 or earlier for a 9am service isn't cool when they're used to one that starts at 10:30am), but in the past 2 years as my ministry mind has grown, I've bought into understanding that we're all on the same team and my department is only successful if we're able to asist in accomplishing the overall mission of our church to 'encourage and equip people to know God through His son Jesus Christ'. That's what this move has been about so we'll take the small hit if it helps the church as a whole prosper in reaching our community.
Truth is truth is truth: I know it's been said before (not trying to be original, just effective), but God is the source of all truth.
Business truths are very effective in a church environment. Marketing isn't some scheme that should be avoided or condemned...effective ways to market our product (Knowing God) isn't something to debate. With the greatest product on the market we should easily find the best ways to make it happen. Ben Arment's sister Heather is incredible at marketing.
Wanna waste your day away? Start playing with theUltimate Flash Face. It's crazy what you can do these days.
Just home for lunch watching Iraq get liberated. It's pretty amazing how big this world is. We as Americans truly don't realize what we have.
Just put the final touches on a friends site down at First Family Church in Corpus. This is my old church home. I've helped them out a bit as they are transitioning with a new Pastor who happens to be one of my best friends. We have some work to get it where we want it, but it definately is a step in the right direction.
I've really gotten into RelientK lately. The strange thing is that I've never been a huge fan of punk or rock, let alone both. What I enjoy about their music is how they've pulled off complete stupidity (in a good way) while maintaining a very real and impressive theological look at Knowing God in their lives.
Although they have old folks moshing in a nursing home in their newest video, they seem to really appreciate all of humanity. I give a full 4 Kit Kat bars for "2 lefts don't make a right..."