Friday, October 31, 2008

End of High School Football

Well, another year of High School football has ended (well at least in Vincent it has).  I really enjoyed getting back into the volunteering thing.  I had a blast coaching the Junior High and holding the huge signs for Varsity.  It was great being able to build new relationships with students and teachers/coaches.  

Trying to do two extremely demanding jobs (pastoring and coaching) isn't easy.  I must say I am relieved (and yet somewhat saddened) that football season is over.  I absolutely love football, and I look forward to coaching again; but, man is it tiring.  I look forward to having afternoons back to work at the church.

(Somewhere in the background I hear basketballs bouncing...)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Real Transformation

So, I'm wrapping things up in the office.  Tonight's service went pretty well.  It was great to see some old faces and some new ones worshipping God.  I've been preaching a series for over a month now called "Jesus Greatest Hits."  The grand scheme of the whole series is to re-think what it means to be Christian.  For us in the Bible Belt, it is very easy to have a view of Christianity that is covered up with a bunch of extra rules, regulations, etc.  But didn't Christ come to set us free from heavy burdens?

One of the things that is a passion of mine is to see (and help people make) real transformation.  I believe salvation is more than a prayer and a train ticket to heaven.  I also believe faith is far more than praying to Jesus and studying the Scriptures.  Christ came to give us a life like the one before the Garden fallout.  He came so that we can have a vibrant walk with Him.  

That's one reason I'm not a real big fan of altar calls--at least not the kind where people are invited down to the front to "receive Christ."  God has really opened my eyes of the past year and a half to salvation as a process.  I've seen people boo-hooing and snotting in an altar call, and yet they get up and are unchanged.  And I've seen people who have never come to an official "altar call" and "get saved," and yet one day I notice them worshipping, or praying with someone or serving someone.  And then I hear them talk about their faith with someone.  It truly is amazing just how far we've gotten off track from what God originally intended for us.

Well this post is turning into a small novel, so I'll cut it off for now.

More to come later (?)


A couple of months ago I read "unChristian."  It's a great book revealing how most people in America view "church-people."  I really wasn't all that surprised by what the book said.  Here's a quick overview:

Of people outside the church ages 16-29:
91% see the church as anti-homosexual
87% jugmental
85% hypocritical
75% too involoved in politics
72% out of touch with reality
70% insensitive of others

Then, I found this great video sermon.  I believe this is Judd Wilhite from Las Vegas...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Great Quotes

I found two great quotes by Dr. Conel West, professor of African studies (?) at Princeton.

Three questions for leaders:
1)  How deep is your love for the people?
2)  What kind of courage have you manifested in the positions you stand for?
3)  What are you willing to sacrifice?

"You can't lead the people if you won't love the people.  You can't save the people if you won't serve the people."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Got My Magazine Back

So here's the deal: one of my friends (who shall remain nameless) has the spiritual gift "teacher."  That's a great thing; I'm a teacher too.  But one of the problems with teachers is that they tend to over-keep stuff.  For example magazines.  I let my friend borrow my copy of Relevant magazine that I got back in June.

Relevant is a great magazine--especially this issue.  I really enjoyed reading it.  In fact, I think I read almost the whole magazine in three days.  It was so captivating that it was hard to stop reading.  But for some reason, my friend thought they would take 4 months and 2 weeks to read my magazine.  I know it's hard for him/her to return things [I tend to keep stuff too (sorry if I have ever borrowed anything from you)], but, I'm happy to say that I finally got my magazine back.

Oh look, an article about the upcoming Beijing Olympics...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Free at Last

Yesterday was a day of celebration.  It was a day for relief, reflection, and hope.  And not because Alabama is having such a great season.

Yesterday I had my interview with the District/Sectional Presbytery [A/G structures] to get my credentials approved.  The first step (the test) proved much easier than expected--and this was equally enjoyable.  I made a hundred on my test and provided some great laughs for the Presbytery (ok, so they were laughing at me, but who cares?)

Needless to say, yesterday marks the ending of a (really, really L-O-N-G) chapter of my ministry life.  It's good to be on this end of it.  Feels really good to be a "legit" preacher (or "Preacher-man" as Coach Gip likes to call me).

God has really set me up the whole way.  At every turn, He's been there providing whatever I need.  Can't wait to see what He's going to do with/in the rest of my life.