Monthly Archives: December 2007

Thursday Thoughts

  • I can’t believe that Christmas is almost here. I have most of my shopping done, but I just can’t believe that it is almost here…I don’t know if I like getting old anymore.
  • Today is my last official “office” day at Asbury. I am officially done on the 31st, but the office is closed for the rest of the year. I will be at church the next two Sundays. Kinda weird.
  • This is stinkin amazing. One of these days….one of these days.
  • I want to write a book. Something in Seth Godin style, but about church.
  • I got a free car wash from QuikTrip last night. That place is nice, planning on taking my son and niece tomorrow in the other car. They will like it. I like to get it washed RIGHT before freezing rain and snow.
  • We are getting cable. We found out how we can add cable and pay the same amount we were paying for phone and internet by itself. It is dish, so I am not too thrilled, but it is practically free…can’t beat that.
  • I thought Red Robin was coming to the west side…uhhh when?
  • This is hilarious…if we were a small town, a nice little article would be sent to Jay Leno.
  • I love my son…he does this thing where he stands about 2 feet from our Christmas tree, turns around and slowly walks backwards towards the tree. When he reaches the tree he uses the branches and needles to scratch – sometimes tickle – his back. He laughs so hard, and as a result, I laugh harder.
  • I am so happy I married Rachel. Not only is she – let’s say – smokin’ hot, she is also an amazing cook. I am the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

 If I don’t say so before – MERRY CHRISTMAS!


My Bible Journey

I have realized this year, that topical devotional times are a little harder to pull of then I would have thought. I have been enjoying studying strictly on the life of Jesus, but have found myself wandering a bit in my study. I am really excited about what is getting ready to happen. Rachel and I have committed to reading the Bible in Chronological order. I have decided to use THE MESSAGE translation to help move it a long a bit, but I am excited about doing this. It’s been quite a while since I have read straight through – so this will be good. I will keep you posted on my thoughts.

Culturally Relevant (pt. 2)

One of the most memorable things I took away from Bible School is the idea that being culturally irrelevant is just as much of a sin as it is to be off-based in your doctrine. It was a huge awakening for me, as I had this idea that to be culturally relevant was becoming too much like the world and that the Bible tells us to flee from the things of this world. I have, since, realized that God in all his holiness is also culturally relevant. I read somewhere and wrote in my journal that when we look at how our transcendent, eternal God deals with every person, and every culture, throughout history we find that He does it on their terms. He meets them where they’re at. One of the greatest examples of cultural relevancy is the fact that God came to earth as one of His creations to be able to relate. We can find all throughout the Bible that God speaks the language of the people, there are stories and illustrations that Jesus used to relate with. We can find that he even used examples from pop culture. His message was so relevant (catch this) that the religious people of that time were so upset with him. They called him blasphemous, and condemned his message. (It seems that it is the religious today that are upset with churches that are following Jesus’ lead in being relevant – any coincidence?)
In my notes I wrote of an example of how even the first Christians were doing this…you can see this when you compare the sermon Peter gave in Acts 2 in Jerusalem to the one Paul gave in Acts 17 in Athens. Sometime read each carefully. You’ll find that Paul never mentions the name of Jesus. He never quotes the Bible. He doesn’t give an invitation at the end. In Acts 2, Peter talks about Jesus, quotes the Bible, ends by saying, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you …” Paul doesn’t. Instead he compliments the people on their interest in religious things. He doesn’t attack them because their religious beliefs are wrong. Paul talks about their statues and quotes their poets. And at the end he basically says, “I think you all should seek God.” Why the difference? Peter’s audience was ready for Jesus and Bible quotes and an invitation, so he met them where they were. Paul’s audience was not ready for any of that, so he met them where they were.

This is the verse that stirred the issue…CHECK THIS OUT…

1 Corinthians 9:19-23, “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!”

Snowy Saturday (instead of Thursday Thoughts)

• Loved the snow – kind of wish 9 inches would have fallen like predicted, but am content with what I have.
• I am wondering though – with the weather this week – if it means Christmas will be mostly sunny with a high around 50? I hope not.
• There is a specific intersection here that I try to avoid on Saturday – 21st and Maize. Today I didn’t avoid it, and I drove away thinking – there has got to be a better way to manage the chaos!
• I have some pictures from my last night at Asbury – will post them soon – it was definitely bittersweet – but I appreciated all of the kind words from everyone.
• I’ve realized that Rachel has gotten me to eat things I would never have before – pretty cool she has that kind of power over me.
Shrek the Halls was pretty cool the other night – would like to own that holiday classic.
• Owen has realized that the best part of Christmas is un-decorating the Christmas tree – our worst part of Christmas is fixing his mess.
• Owen might have been exposed to Chicken Pox – pray that he doesn’t get it. I don’t care that he does – just not over Christmas!
• We have been looking for someone to watch him after we start our new job…anyone know anyone that they would take their only child to? We are not overprotective – just kinda picky.
• Did anyone see this. I wonder if Google is going to take over the world.

Culturally Relevant (pt. 1)

About five years ago when I entered kids ministry I was dissatisfied with the way things were ran. All I saw were kids in their classrooms memorizing scripture without any kind of real interaction with God – quite frankly the place looked like an after school program rather than a relevant place for kids to meet Jesus. I decided to switch things up. I decided to throw out what was being done, a typical club-format type of program, and try something pretty cutting edge for the time. I was going to introduce kids to Jesus by way of Nickelodeon.

I caught a lot of flak for making such a huge change, but I was committed to the fact that if Jesus was culturally relevant then I am going to be too. Many of the regular church folk decided to pull their kids before the program even started, so the 60 kids we were having on a good night would soon drop to 35-40. I was okay with this, because I knew God had a plan. The first night of camp, we had some huge inflatables and talked about how it is okay to be loud sometimes. We had about 120 kids in attendance. Wow! Since then, we have seen nights where we are trying to accommodate for up to 250 kids – completely crazy!

As most of you know by now, I am transitioning out of this position and will soon be entering a new season in ministry. I will be going to Gracepoint, where that church has caught its own flak about being culturally relevant. I have to admit, even I took a double take once or twice…but through everything the team did, I remember thinking, this is a church, a team, that is sticking to their mission of being a place for those who hate church.

I think being culturally relevant is a good thing. I think God would ask us to be this way. Jesus, as the ultimate teacher, was obviously one of the most innovative people to ever walk the face of the earth, and his message was simple, timeless, and spoke to the souls of everyone. How many churches can say that their message is timeless? I have some thoughts on how churches, modeling after the early church, should be culturally relevant today. Let’s save that for tomorrow!

Thursday Thoughts

  • Off last week…here goes….
  • Nice to wake up and have to scrape ice off my care window….okay not really….all I could think about was the ice storm a few years back – 7 days with no electricity was absolutely no fun…COME ON SUN!
  • If the electricity goes out, it’s okay – we do not have water at our house right now…waiting on the plumbers to re-pipe it ALL. They were at our house at 9am this morning – we weren’t so they left. No phone call until after they arrived. Most places seem to call when they are leaving their office – not these guys!
  • All I want for Christmas is a house with no problems – yeah right!
  • Last night at church was good – bittersweet – but good. I have one more Camp Asbury left. It is crazy to think about, but it’s coming. I love the kids – but know God is moving us in a whole new direction.
  • Been able to sit down with the Gracepoint team some lately. What an amazing group of people! I am going to fit in pretty good over there, they are hilarious! Also been given a little opportunity to sit in and listen to their dreams and vision for the the church – it’s gonna be awesome.
  • I like graham crackers.
  • Been watching this show on ABC called October Road. It’s a pretty good show – they main characters are my age so it is pretty sureal to think that I am slowly getting older. Watching Friends now, the main characters are my age too.
  • Hung out with a great group of people last night – my volunteers and friends from Asbury. Before our son came along we would all go out to eat every Wednesday night – it is sort of like a reunion. They are so fun to be with.
  • Because we have no water, we have been staying over at my parent’s house. Owen’s pack-n-play is in the room we are sleeping in and at about 3am this morning I opened my eyes and Owen was standing up and staring at me…kind of freaky but kind of cute too.
  • Have a eye doctor appointment today – I am thinking this is when the plumbers will show back up since I will not be home. I am hoping to get some new glasses. Have to fit in!
  • Finishing up my semester – lots to do.

Have a great weekend – pray that we get water on today!