New Year's Resolutions is not a bandwagon thing for me. It is somethings that I enjoy doing every year. I believe by setting goals for myself and then looking back throughout the year helps me stay focused. In 2009 I met all my goals except one. This year I have broken them down into categories of physical, spiritual, emotional, and education. I know that it sounds crazy but I believe that it is the best way for me to become who God called me to be in 2010.
- ► 2011 (41)
- ► 2010 (190)
- ▼ 2009 (323)
Around this time of year a lot of people start reflected and looking forward all at the same time. Some people are ready for 2009 to get out of here with promises of a better 2010 and others are hoping for the same results in the new years as they have seen in the former. I believe that we it is healthy to look back during these time of seasons. The best way to learn where you are going is to see where you have been. Learn from your mistakes and be energized by your victories. Look at the valleys you have walked through and know that you can do it again if it is necessary and breath in the mountain tops again and be refreshed.
- January 6 is the date when Christmas decorations should come down. Supertitions say that it is bad luck to leave it for another day or take it down before that date.
- If you are under the mistletoe with someone of the opposite sex, you should be kissed. Otherwise, you will both have bad luck.
- At midnight on Christmas Eve, all the doors of the house should be opened to let out evil spirits.
- You must eat something leafy and green on New Year's Day. That will bring you money or riches during the year, and you won't have to worry about paying bills.
- Your house should be clean and there should be no dirty clothes in the house on New Year's Day. This is for good luck.
- The first person to come into your house on New Year's Day should be a man. Anything else is bad luck.
- A candle should be placed in a window to burn all night long from 12 o'clock midnight. This will guarantee the household's luck for another year.
We have had a great Christmas but I have to be honest, I am sort of glad it is over.
Got a Kindle from Paige. That thing is awesome. Been reading like a wild man.
Spend a couple of days in North GA with Paige's parents and we are in South GA with my family.
Ready to be back in Stockbridge this evening. I love seeing and visiting with family but I love being home as well.
Monday was a fun day. Thrive students and leaders went downtown Atlanta to ice skate and then to Southlake Mall.
Tuesday I cleaned my office and wrapped some things up for this year. We had our staff lunch at Red Lobster. I really get to work with some of the greatest people in the world.
Tuesday night Paige and I went and saw Disney's Christmas Carol. I had heard mixed reviews but I loved the movie. It was probably my favorite one.
Looking forward to some rest and planning this coming up week.
Really excited about Wednesday night's service and Thrive New Year's throw down.
Hope you are recovering from the Holiday Hangover.
I just wanted to tell you thank you for journeying through this advent season with us. Thank you for allowing us to share snippets of our life with you. It is our prayer that you were blessed, that you embraced this season in new and fresh ways, and that God was glorified in the highest way possible.
This is it, the last week of the Advent Season. Actually there is only 6 days left until Christmas. My goal this season has been to find intimacy in the middle of the busiest season of the year. I challenge you to not only reflect of the story of Christmas found in Luke 2 and Matthew 1, but reflect of the things that are in our lives. Lets heighten the awareness of the things that are going on in our lives.
One of my favorite people in the and one of the greatest Kid's Pastors in the entire world wrote a couple of posts about Santa Claus here and I wanted to weigh in. I have some thoughts about all the Big Guy from the North Pole:
We finally have internet in the house again! Today is a good day!
- We decorate our Youth Center like a snow storm hit it.
- We have a have free pizza and drinks for every students that comes.
- There will be snow cotton candy.
- Every student will leave with a Christmas present from Thrive.
- We have special guests that come help us with worship.
- There will be a dramatic message that goes with the theme.
- Lots and lots of students from all over Henry County.
Today is "Gaudete Sunday." Gaudete means rejoice in Latin. Even we were lighting an Advent candle in the wreath today it would be the rose colored one. This week we take time and reflect on the joy that the coming of the Lord brings. That the Lord came to bring joy and fullness to us all. We are called as His followers to do the same for those around us. In a season that is full of consumerism and commercialism, it is our responsibility to point people to the message of the season. It is our call to be the candy that is light in dark places.
I am in the middle of one of the most stressful chaotic weeks of my life. I will be okay, I tend to work better when there is pressure.
My Father-in-Law is one of my heroes. He has made HUGE investments in my life and in my ministry through the years. He believed in my and loved me when I was even lost. Caryl Martinez is an awesome man of God, an incredible Pastor, and a good friend. I say all of that to tell you that years ago he introduced me to a saying. "Keep the main thing the main thing." Over the years this phrase periodically has come back around and kept me in check. It is guardrails in my life, keeping me on the right path.
- Not getting ahead of God in tough situations.
- Being a better Follower of Jesus than a Youth Pastor or Leader - not leading the Ministry of the Lord come before the Lord of the Ministry.
- Remembering in is about Jesus changing lives, not how many people sit in seats.
- Preaching the Gospel of Truth more than any fancy new sermon series.
- It is about being real more than being relevant.
- It is about being formed more than being found.
- It is not about me at all.
Going into the second week of Advent our prayers deepen a little bit. This week the candle that is lit in our hearts represent hope. All throughout this week maybe we can pause and take a deep breath and exhale the words, "Lord my hope and trust is in you and you alone."
It was a crazy busy week that is honestly a blur.
Lord help us be prepared for the coming of Your Son.
May we be found busy spreading your love and shining your light.
Help me be a person of peace, to speak about it in an uneasy world,
and to live it among the people you have put in my life everyday.
Light in me a desire to prepare for your coming.
To stand in the darkness, waiting, anticipating, and filled with love.
In Your Son's name we pray,
We always lit candle every week of Advent. We did that so that light can shine in the midst of the darkness of this world and in our lives. It symbolized our longing, our desire, our hope. We want to experience his coming to us now, in our everyday lives, to help us live our lives with meaning and purpose. And we want to prepare for his coming to meet us at the end of our lives on this earth.
Today is the first day in the Advent Season. I grew up in a small Methodist Church in Sparks, GA and every year we would celebrate the Advent Season. As a kid I did not pay attention or really understand the meaning of it. I would even help the Pastor light the candle, but I did not know what I was doing. As I got older and we left that church I really did not think anymore about the Advent Season. Even as I became of follower of Christ and went into Vocational Ministry (full-time ministry is an oxymoron), I really did not give much thought about it.
It has been a crazy week.
Barbara Graves wrote about why she uses Twitter here.
It is that time of year again and people are listing the things that they are thankful for. It is funny that we are only thankful during a couple weeks in November. We take everything else in our lives for granted until that point. Saying thank you and appriecating people is not that difficult to do. Instead we live like we are entitled for everyone else to serve us. Everyone owes us something.
Tell someone how much you love them as often as you can. Let the people in your life know how much they mean to you. Know that if someone has to guess how you feel, then most of the time they are going to guess wrong. Being grateful is a choice and it is a choice that you have to make everyday.
Here are some things I am thankful for (after the first two these are in no particular order):
- My God that allows me to have a relationship with Him. I did not deserving saving and yet Jesus still died for me.
- My wife that loves me and puts up with my crap on a daily basis.
- Tivo. One of the greatest inventions ever.
- My hertiage and my legacy. My family that laid a strong foundation in my life that I can pass on. and my spiritual children that I have had the priviledge to pour into.
- My Blackberry, greatest phone in the world.
- Food, some people eat to live but I live to eat.
- An awesome Pastor and family who love us and let us be who God called us to be. Thanks for believing in me and always having my back.
- Friends, family that you were not born into but chose and who chose you. I have the greatest friends in the world and do not know what I would do without them.
- The most awesome students in the world, Thrive!
- Steve Jobs for starting Apple and making Macbooks and Ipods.
- Second chances.
- A wonderful church that loves us and has a heart for the students of Henry County.
- College Football
- This blog and the three people that read it!
No not the band. It is a saying that everyone has been taught at some point in their life. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. I believe that we overcomplicate things. We take things that were meant to be simple and make them difficult. Things that we are meant to enjoy, we are not truly happy unless they are complicated.
We have done this with our relationships, we have done this with church, and we have even done it with the Gospel. You can explain anything away and you can put so many hoops in something that no one will jump through them.
I believe that a lot of times we do this and do not even realize it. We believe that we are helping or making something better. If it is not broke don't fix it.
KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID
Am A Worrier
This week has been super busy.
Am A Control Freak
- When I am in control, God is not.
- When I am in control, people can not become who God called and created them to be.
- When I am in control, my leadership foundation shrinks.
- When I am in control, I get the glory for the victories instead of God.
- When I am in control, I can fix it and do not need God.
- When I am in control, everyone loses.
Ever look back at a week and do not have a clue where it went?
- I am looking forward to hanging out with some of the most awesome students in the world all afternoon and into the evening.
- I am more than likely going to get lost but it is going to be fun.
- There are some that I would probably like to loose in the Maze (just kidding)!
- Bon-fires are some of my favorite things to do. There is nothing better than a roast hotdogs and marshmallows over an open fire.
It is less about about things and more about people.
You have to hate where you are at before you can go where you are called.
You can not lead where you have not been. In ministry if you want those you lead to go to a new level you have to have already been there yourself. You have to pay the price, you have to abandon the things that you are comfortable with where you are at. You will never walk on water unless you step out of the boat. God can not give you something new as long as you are holding on to what you have. The next level that God has for you is so much better than where you are. The price you will have to pay is so worth where you will walk. We have to leave the comfort of where we are and step into what we are called to.
People will only believe in your dream as much as you do.
Do you really believe that God has called you to do what you do? If you do then it will come out in everything that you do. It will come out in everything you do. People follow passion. Your choices and decisions are a direct reflection of what your passion is, what your dream is. Do not expect people to be more committed than you are to what God has called you to do.
At times you're a coach, at times you're a cheerleader, and then at times you're a fan
I just want to be in the game. I heard someone say one time that they were called to be a dream facilitator. If I could ask God for one calling that is what it would be. To help people reach the dreams that God has given them. One of the unique things that I am learning is that when investing in people at times you get to be their coach. Helping call the plays, giving direction and input. On the sidelines and in the action. Then other times you get to be a cheerleader. Cheering them on, encouraging them. Not the big role you have had, but still a role. Then all the time, you get to be a fan. I am a fan of every student that I have had the privilege to work with. From a distance I get to watch them change the world. I may not play a big role in their lives but I still love them and love to root them on.
Right now I am reading "Forgotten God" by Francis Chan. I read something tonight that made me think:
It used to be that if I had a great worship experience, I asked God to duplicate it the next time I came to worship. Like the kid impressed by a silly magic trick, I would pray, "Do it again!" One thing I have learned about God over the years, however, is that He rarely "does it again." He's the Creator, which means that He is (among other things) creative.
Here are some blogs that I found interesting this week...
It is easier to settle for what is comfortable than push for what God has for you.
The easy thing and the right thing are not always the same thing. When we settle for a cheap imitation of the dream that God has given us then we are saying we worship an imitation god. When we settle for the little things and the easy things then we are not truly reflecting how BIG our God really is. The easiest road often leads to dead ends and it the hardest to backtrack from. The roads that lead to the dreams that God has for us are often uphill but that is because they lead us to the mountain top. The deeper the valley the higher the mountain top. Never settle for the valley.
Relationships gets messy so you are going to get your hands dirty.
The journey of our lives sometimes takes turns down muddy paths. You have to walk through crud in your own journey and with people you are walking with. You have to be willing to put it in 4-wheel drive sometimes. People do not need friends that only stick around in the easy times but will walk with them through the rocky times as well. Real friendship is gauged not by the mountain tops but by the valleys. I am so grateful that God has given me friends that walk through the valley with me.
There is a thin line between routine and rituals.
This is a line that we cross in church all the time. We set routines in place of how we do things and we make them rituals and believe that they are given by God. From the music we sing to the way we decorate our buildings. We have to guard the way that we view our routines and make sure we do not worship them instead of God. It is really easy to focus of tradition and not leave a legacy. Tradition focuses on how things used to be and legacy focuses on how things are going to be. Tradition emphasizes the past and legacy points us to the future. Tradition is about us and legacy is about others. Routine is good. Rituals are good, as long as they are not the things we worship. When they become the things that we worship, then they become a god in our life and we are guilty of idolatry.
There is nothing that I hate more than a sleepless nights. Tossing and turning. It is miserable. See people that I care about are going through some stuff right now. Things that are beyond my control, but yet things that have bothered me for a little while. I am struggling to find the off switch. I can not help but look around at my own life during days like this and ask myself what I need to work on the most. I realized that tonight that I need to refocus my life.
The last two weeks have really been a blur.
It has been a while since I blogged last. Over two weeks. I would love to list off the things that have been keeping me from Challenging Normal, but I can't. It has honestly just been life. It has been poor time management and a longer todo list than I like. I could give a thousand excuses about where I have been but excuses are something that you can have a thousand of and still have nothing. Excuses will never get you anywhere in life.
Are there specific callings?
youth ministry, children's ministry, missions, worship, etc
Is there one calling and different passions?
everyone is called and what we do with the call comes from the passion God has given us
I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter? Does it even matter. Is there such a thing as a full time or part time call?
This went went by really fast. A lot of catching up to do from vacation. Seems like vacation was forever ago.