Wednesday, April 29, 2009

100th Post

Well, I've finally reached my 100th post. I know it's supposed to be a big deal...giveaways, great thoughts, etc., but I've been suffering from bloggers' block recently, so this will have to do:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

District Council 09

As a member of the Assemblies of God, I am a part of a larger network of pastor's and believers. Each year people from all over our District (Alabama) gather together for several days of worship, teaching, and business meetings :(. This year's council was much different than any I have ever been to. And I must say that I am proud to be a part of the Alabama District Council of the Assemblies of God. Here are some reasons why:

  • Electing Ken Draughon as District Superintendent (his role is similar to the pastor in a local congregation). Ken's a great guy, has a very successful track record--both as a pastor and as World Missions Director, and seems to have a very progressive outlook (he's on facebook for crying out loud:) I've gotten to know him a little through a program called NavNet that he mentors. Really looking forward to the new direction he'll give to our District.
  • Forming a Self-Study Team. I know this seems trivial, but in a state where I would argue MOST pastors are not forward-thinking, to agree to form a team to see if what we are doing is working, AND if it's not, to figure out how to's a pretty big deal.
  • Apollos and Timothy. I know Alabama is not really know for it's education system (at least not in a good way). But both of these initiatives are designed to help pastors (who don't get paid a lot) pay for the rising costs of college and continuing education. According to my sources, we are the first (or at least one of the first) districts to offer anything like this (as much 100% payment of student loans or continuing education costs). Imagine that...Alabama leading the way in education :)
There are some exciting days on the horizon for our fellowship of believers. I look forward to a newer, deeper partnership as we strive to reach a lost and broken world.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Looks Can Be Deceiving

...Do not consider his appearance or his height...The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16.7

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oh, Easter

Easter weekend should, without a doubt, be the biggest weekend in Christianity. I'm afraid that in America Christmas and the materialism that comes along with it has overshadowed Easter. Nonetheless, it's huge. People are somehow drawn to the spiritual nature within and around each of us like they are not through the rest of the year. People make their yearly pilgrimage to a local church...hopefully to open arms and hearts and to hear a message of sorrow, hope, joy, humility, generosity, loneliness, power, meekness, etc.

As a pastor, Easter is a huge weight of programming, planning, prayer, anticipation, stress, and so forth. The amount of hours that are invested in the Easter Egg Hunt -and- the Easter Celebration Service are beyond belief. It is, however, a great joy to see the light in people's eyes, to see people touched/transformed/saved, and to see families have hope again.

Maybe we don't give Easter enough attention, maybe we do. But no matter what, if it recalibrates our spirits to line up with our Redeemer's once again, then it was worth it all.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Remained Silent

*In a world of injustice, what will you choose to do?


attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
An early supporter of Hitler, by 1934 Niemöller had come to oppose the Nazis, and it was largely his high connections to influential and wealthy businessmen that saved him until 1937, after which he was imprisoned, eventually at Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Daily Double

Here's a quote from the book I'm reading, Taking Our Cities for God [it's actually not creepily militant as it sounds]. It really enlightens the post I made earlier today.

"Those statistics are actually people known intimately by [Jesus]."

Mind Boggling

So I found this website that contains an item called the World Clock. It's a pretty interesting tool. It shows you stats (including births and deaths and total population) from across the globe. It can be broken down into different categories like Year, Month, Week, etc. It's also a sobering reminder of our mission. In the time it took my to type up this post 133 people were born but 51 died.

Check it out:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Created in His Image

If we agree that God is a creative God, then surely we are creative too.

Genesis 1.26-27: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..."So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

The writer of this passage really wants us to understand that we are created in God's image. Really, really badly. He repeats it in a span of two sentences 3 times. And if we are created in God's image, that means we are creative like God. Now, yes, there are differences. We can only create physical things based on stuff He created (ex: glass from sand). But that creative desire/ability is in all of us in one way or another. Just because you can't draw or paint or compose doesn't mean you lack creativity. You may be the most creative budgeter ever. Or the most creative Life Group teacher. Creativity is not simply limited to arts, it pops up in everything we do--eating, working, shopping, paying bills, playing with the kids.

So the next time someone asks if you are a creative person, tell them, "YES!"