All this has made me wonder how stinkin' hard it will be if we move WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY off someday...
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
So, this is Amanda and my first Thanksgiving as a married family. With that has come a whole set of complications. One is that our families live several hours apart. Another is that her family has two (maybe more?) separate Thanksgiving celebrations. My family has always had T'giving at one place because Dad's family lives in West Va. So we have to pick every year which family to have T'giving with. BUT, add in two more T'giving meals and you have a dilemma--not to mention anything of Christmas. Fortunately, Amanda and I are pretty smart cookies, so we came up with a Win-Win (we couldn't get a Win-Win-Win like Michael Scott would have liked). We are going to hit up the T'giving with Amanda's family (staying at our NEW home for the holidays) and then go to Grandma's (Dad's mom) for Christmas. Yes, I know that leaves out Mom's side of the family. That's why it's a Win-Win and not a Win-Win-Win.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
This is an add-on to the music recommendations from the other day:
Chris Tomlin - Hello Love
Disciple - Southern Hospitality
The Wrecking - A New Abolition
Family Force 5 - Dance or Die
Triplee - 20|20
Kaboose - Excuse Me
Building 429 - Building 429
U2 - various songs
Bob Dylan - Blowing in the Wind (single)
Friday, November 21, 2008
Ok, so I don't usually recommend music on my blog, but I got this new CD from Youth Leaders Only. It's "A New Abolition" from The Wrecking. I'm guessing they're new. But so far, I love this CD. I have a couple of other new one's too. I love new music.
If you have any music recommendations, leave a comment/
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I'm so excited about tonight. We're going to take the whole teaching time of our youth service to promo the NEW Campus Missions strategy for our church. Campus Missions is really a simple concept--reaching students where they HAVE TO BE (by law) 5 days a week for 7 hours a day: the school campus. It's about expanding influence (via Campus Missionaries) and training student in THEIR responsibility to spread the gospel. It's about establishing a place for fellow disciples can come and pray together for the students and teachers that walk their hallways. It's about connecting adults to the schools by involving them in prayer. It's about people, people who are broken, hopeless, and defeated (thanks to sin) finding hope again in the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
There are several HUGE changes to the structure of our Campus Missions--especially to Campus Missionaries. I really believe this is going to allow us to equip MORE students to be disciples for Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
For some reason over the past several days these words have been playing over and over again in my soul. I really believe God has been trying to remind me that (#1) I'm a champion [Romans 8.37] and (#2) as a champion I have to be willing to pay the price. From watching videos of the persecuted disciples around the world, to the sacrifices required in ministry to the daily price to continue to be a Christ-follower, there is a price to be paid--not for our sins [Jesus took care of that], but to show our love to our Saviour. Will you be willing to pay the price?
*Here's the video clip that's been playing in my mind. Fast forward to about 2:34:
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Had a great weekend at the Alabama District Youth Leaders' Summit at Orange Beach. I really look forward to this every year. It's great to be able to get away, meet new people, hang out with old friends, enjoy some great food, and be feed spiritually without having to think about how the lights look?, is the music too loud?, will this transition work?
God spoke very powerfully into my own life. He gave me some much needed encouragement that I probably wouldn't have heard in the normal hustle and bustle of ministry. And He's given me some new direction. Very exciting stuff (a little nerve-racking too).
To Steve and Crystal Mason, Matt and Carrie Britt, and Leo and Debbie Blankenship: thank you guys so much for the investment into Alabama youth pastors. We appreciate all that you do. God bless.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
With the way things ended yesterday, I must say that I am still proud to be an American. Not so much just because an African-American is in the high office (though this is HUGE!), but because of what didn't happen. There was no rioting. No coup-de-ta (spelling?). George Bush didn't surround the White House with tanks and thousands of troops refusing to concede. John McCain didn't lambast the president-elect nor the American people. No, we once again have had an arms-free transfer of power from one man to another. And though the actual transfer is still a few months away and there will be criticisms and maybe even threats, I'm proud to live in a country that doesn't burst into Civil War every time a new president is elected.
I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to Senators McCain, Obama, and Biden, and to Governor Palin. Though we may have substantial disagreements with some (I have pretty big disagreements with all of them), they still are the ones who have sacrificed their time in service (and hopeful service) to their country. And they will continue to do so, no matter what office they hold. These are true Americans, who love our country, and who are dedicating their lives to make our country work. Let us pray for each of them--and all our leaders, everyday. The weight of leadership at that level is next to unbearable, and they need us--the Christ-followers in America--to lift them up in prayer everyday.
God bless America (and the whole world too)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I don't think I've ever posted two times in a day, but this quote couldn't wait for tomorrow. It's from the book Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. [Chapter 3, 1st paragraph]
"...[T]he King James Bible...uses leader only six times. Much more frequently, the role is called servant. We do not read about "Moses, my leader," but "Moses, my servant." And this is exactly what Christ taught."
Well, the day we've all been waiting on is here. I must so I couldn't be more relieved that this election is over. I hate campaign season. It's divisive and usually ends with people (particularly Christians) making themselves look real shallow, dumb, and hateful. In celebration of this day, I want to take some time to look at the best and WORST of this election year in regards to the church.
The best: I got to vote. This is my first time voting in a presidential election (well any real election--I just registered a month ago!). I must say, that despite my cynicism, I really enjoyed getting to go to Vincent Town Hall and casting my ballot. And yes, though my vote--especially for President--doesn't really count (thanks Electoral College), I still had a great sense of pride and responsibility. I am truly thankful that God has placed me in a country where freedom reigns (mostly). I believe that God wants to use our country and our vast freedom and resources to reach the world, within and without.
With that being said, I believe that we as Christians missed a great opportunity to set an example of Christ before our own nation. Citizens of the United States, I apologize for the actions of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have been very disappointed with the muckraking, bickering, and overall lack of love in this election. The group that is supposed to bring peace and unity is the main reason for so much division in our country. It really is no wonder at all that people don't want to be a part of our faith. If you were always told how horrible, stupid, classless, cold-hearted, misguided, lost, depraved, rejected, anti-everything, etc., you'd probably feel the same way. I don't think there is anything wrong with Christians voting the way their conscience leads them--that's fine. But don't abuse someone who sees things differently than you. God put us in a position to shine His light and tell His story and WE BLEW IT!!! America we're sorry.
I really hope that no matter who wins today, that Christians will take the lead in restoring unity within our country and with our fellow humanity around the globe. Our leaders need our prayers, no matter what political agenda they have. Remember, God is our Hope and Saviour, not a politician (or any other man/woman for that matter). This nation is starving for a real relationship with God and they need us to share that with them. We can't do that if we draw party lines and aren't willing to cross it to reach people on the other side.
God bless America (and the whole world too)!