The last three days have been a blur.
- ► 2011 (41)
- ► 2010 (190)
- ▼ 2009 (323)
Yesterday was a 16 hour day. Today will be a longer day and I do not want to even start to think about Saturday. This weekend we are going to smoke a couple hundred chickens that have been sold to help send a team from Thrive to Bogota Colombia. When all is said and done there will be a lot of people that will be worn out and exhausted. When days like these come and life gets crazy, everything sometimes becomes a blur. Tunnel vision kicks in. I have to tendency to loose focus.
Loose sight of the things that are important. Forget what is the reason behind the things that we are doing. We are not just smoking chickens and raising money. We are going to a different country where we do not speak there language and meet people we have never met before to share a love that will change their life. It is not about the stress or the late night. It is the life changes that we will see.
When life gets crazy we have got to keep our focus. It will be the only thing that keeps us going. It will be the only thing that drive us. You better know why it is you do what you do and it can not be about you.
Hello world! I am back on the blogging kick after a break. There is an issue that has been introspectively challenging my existence. All of the recent rain and dreary days here in Georgia have led me to new insight. In the absence of sunny days, I have noticed my mood diminishing and my energy level nose-diving. Being trapped inside has not been fun for me. I feel like the days are being wasted. I understand that we need rain to survive and it's vital to life, but the excess is not my preference.
How many people live in an emotional and spiritual rainy season for a long period of time? God has increased my awareness of the plight of others. When the rainy season comes, several things come into play that prolong the dreary season, in my opinion.
1. A sense of hopelessness takes over after a few days. You long for the sunshine, but can't fathom a sunny day.
2. A sense of boredom and monotony leave an abundance of time to dwell on happier days when the sun was abundant.
3. A sense of entrapment that causes you to retreat into your comfort zone and refuse to come out until the season transforms into a brighter time.
4. A sense of over-protection to preserve yourself from the rainy season. You don't want to lose anything valuable, so you don't let anyone close to you.
The Bible says that Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. In today's society, circumstances and life happen, whether we are prepared or unprepared. I believe that Satan uses these rainy seasons to isolate us and make us feel alone and hopeless. Jesus came to bring light and peace and hope and happiness to those in relationship with him. Yet, we all pass by people every day and we don't contemplate the season they are in.
What season are you in? What can you do to help those who find themselves in the rainy season? Sometimes, just the thought that someone cares is enough to push back the darkness in someone's circumstances.
There is something that I read several months ago that is still eating away at me. A Pastor asked the question on his blog, he asked did we want to be found or formed? Why do we do what we do? Why do we allow the things in our lives that we allow? Is it to let God get the glory and mold and shape us into what He has created and called us to be or is it for the spotlight? Is it more important to do His will or to push our agenda?
- God's Kingdom is bigger than the government
- The Kingdom of God is not called to maintain. Nowhere in the Word of God does it say maintain your position.
- The biggest enemy I have is me.
- In-grown feelings - you think too much about yourself.
- Peter went from revelation to rebuke because he went from realization to contamination.
- You can be wrong and passionate, that just makes you passionately wrong.
- Why do we think we have to understand everything?
- If you are protecting someone from God's plan you are speaking the language of Satan.
- What do you do when Satan is speaking through a saint instead of a serpent?
- We say no to the way that Jesus called because we refuse to do the hard things.
- The Cross is not only a symbol of sacrifice but of commitment as well.
Today I get to be a bum and I am excited about that.
Went it watch the new Terminator movie Friday night with three of my favorite people last night. The movie was okay. I do not know what I was expecting. T2 is still my favorite terminator movie.
Spent most of the day Friday at Neverland (the campgrounds) helping with a Senior lunch thing. Greatest part of the day was spending time with Barbara and Stephanie.
Have I ever told you how much I love my Pastor and his family? Seriously. They are so awesome and I am so grateful to get to serve with them.
Wednesday night I took a 5 hour energy shot before service. BAD MISTAKE. It sent my ADD into over drive.
It was tough getting back into my preaching groove Wednesday. I had not spoke for 3 weeks.
I am really excited about our first summer series that starts this Wednesday.
Looking forward to Memorial Day and hanging out with some friends and grilling some meat.
Camp is three weeks away. I have got to do somethings to get ready. I am out of shape BAD, but I am looking forward to it.
Hope you have a good weekend and an awesome Memorial Day.
Exodus 3:5, "Remove your sandals from your feet. You are standing on Holy ground."
#3 People living below their call
#2 Judging people by appearance
You have heard it said, "Do not judge a book by it's cover." I could not agree with that statement more. When you look at someone and pass judgment on them based on their appearance or the very few facts that you know about them, then you are showing your ignorance. For instance:
Because I am from South Georgia does not make me a redneck or stupid.
Because I am overweight does not make me lazy or sloppy.
Because I do not have a college degree does not make me uneducated.
Because I am a Youth Pastor I am not a "real" minister.
That list could go on and on. The issue I am finding is that we do not see people from their perspective, we see them from ours. We let our experiences and circumstance shape our views of people and where they are at in life. When we do not take time and get to know someone, when we make a decision based on the outward things, then we are not seeing people through God's eyes. We are not seeing people as God sees them.
1 Samuel 16:7, "But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
I am so grateful that when God measures a person that He does put the tape measure around their head to see how much they know, or put it around their arms to see what they can do. When God measures a person, he puts the tape measure around their heart.
This week I need to take some time and vent. There are just some things that I need to get off my chest. Some things that are just really bugging me. Nothing major, just some perspective from where I have been hanging out lately.
Without a shadow of doubt I have the most awesome Pastor in the world. God has give him a voice for the church for this day and hour. Every Sunday I just want to share some quotes from him and his message.
- We can not stop at success. If we stop at success then success becomes our god.
- A light bulb moment is a sudden realization that leads to change.
- Sometime we have a hide and survive mentality in the church.
- The church is built on the realization of who Jesus is.
- If the church is not growing then it is not His (Jesus) church.
- Today people are looking for spiritual one night stands. They want all the thrills that God gives but they do not want the responsibilities of reproduction.
- The church has not lost it's relevance, it has lost what it means to be relevant.
- The gates of Hell can not advance and the only way they can enlarge is if we get out of the way.
- If the gates of Hell is enlarging then the church is shrinking.
Man what a week!
Last night Thrive was a little different. We had some friends from Henry County Life Management Solutions come and do a community awareness night with us. They shared facts and concerns about what is going on with students in Henry County. Some statistics that we have heard before, like 1 in 4 students have an STD, but then they shared new ones that keep haunting me and kept me up last night.
- When the church is silent, the world writes the rules. The church has been so afraid to talk about sex for so long, the rules of right and wrong have been written by people with no morals and low standards.
- Why are we allowing the government to be our moral compass? That mandate was never given to them. That is the call of the church. We choose to hide behind the walls of our faulty steeples and wonder why things have turned out like they have.
- We, as a church, have a tendency to judge before we love. We will condemn too often before we offer solutions. By the way, judgment is not the solution.
- We keep looking for the answer instead of looking in the mirror. Guess what! We are the answer. We carry a love that changes everything, but yet we choose to be selfish with it!
- I am convinced that the sexual pandemic of this generation will not change until we choose to change it!
Drama. I have never met anyone who says that they like it. Drama. No one wants to claim that they have ever been a part of it. You hear phrases like save your drama for your mama. People update their status on their facebook by saying keep your drama away from me. Drama is something that we all want everyone else to believe that we are allergic to and that we do not create in our own life. We are quick to call a friend out as a "Drama Queen" but deny being a part of it.
I do not care who you are or where you are at in life, your life creates drama. Life is full of drama. I am not saying that you have to like it, but I am saying that you do have to deal with it. There are some people that seem to thrive in drama better than others but none of us can deny that our lives have not caused some form of drama at some point.
Having and causing drama is not the most important part of life but I believe that how you deal with drama will define you. Refusing to deal with it means that you are refusing to engage in life and in relationships. It means that you are refusing to be a friend that helps another friend in need. Drama is not a fun part of life but it is a part of life.
There is this scripture that keeps running through my mind this morning as I am starting my day.
I can not shake that last part. "I do not fight like a man beating the air?" Paul was saying that he fights with a purpose. That he gets up every day and puts on his spiritual boxing gloves for a reason. It is amazing to me how many times in the New Testament our walk with Jesus is paralleled to a fight. I do not think this is a mistake or an accident. I think it is because that is what it is going to be and that is what it is.
- A relationship with God that grows and evolves on a daily basis. I fight to hear God speak to me and then cherish what I hear.
- A marriage to the most awesome wife in the world. We have been married for almost 10 years and it has been the best of my life.
- The most awesome students in the world. Students that are chasing after the Call that is on their life. Students that refuse to settle with the status quo.
- Family and friends that love me no matter what. God has placed some of the most awesome people in my life to encourage me and help me along this journey. I refuse to just sit idly by and not stand with them in their battle.
- A Pastor and his family that I know are making an impact in church and in the community. A man that I would charge Hell with and has become one of my closest friends.
"The measure of insanity is the gap between who you think you are and who you really are." This is a quote that I have been chewing on for a couple weeks. It is the gap that has me worried. It is the gap that has me doing some self-evaluating.
Thank you Mom for being the best Mom in the world. For loving me and teaching me how to love. For doctoring me when I hurt and teaching me to do the same for others. Thank you for knowing all the answers and teaching me how to search for them. Thank you for teaching me how to dream big and believing in them more than me. I love you!
Spent the week in Columbus, GA for the Georgia District Council.
Today I honored the 4th commandment. I do not always get it right, heck I get it wrong more times than I get it right. Out of all the commandments this is one of the ones I struggle with them most. I have not killed anyone, I love my parents, I strive to love God with all my heart, and I do not have any golden calf around the house. The 4th commandments says that we are to honor a sabbath. Every six days we are to rest. Why?
Spent most of the week in Columbus, GA with friends at the Georgia District Council. This is one of my favorite week of the year. I got to spend lots of time with my friends, eat lots of junk, and I actually like the business meetings. I am about to go to bed and crash for at least 24 hours but before I do I wanted to share some thoughts.
- I did an inventory of the people that God has placed in my life this week. I am the luckiest man alive and have the most awesome friends in the world. They not only love me but they like me. They are the people that I want to hold my hand in all of the crap of life.
- Jim Raley is a preaching machine! I am so grateful that he heard from God and brought a fresh word for the ministers in our District. God challenged and stretched me in a HUGE way in the services at night.
- Got to do breakfast with one of my heroes. A man that believed in me when no one else did. He taught me to believe in the underdogs and taught me to dream big.
- The ordination service is my favorite. There is something special about the charge that is given to a minister on this night. If everything goes according to the plan I will be ordained next May. That is going to be awesome.
- I needed this week. I needed the laughs, I needed the services, I needed the down time. I needed this week.
It is already Tuesday and this week is flying by. I am in Columbus, GA for District Council. This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. I get to hang out with friends, see people I only see a couple times a year and laugh a lot. Probably will not blog a lot but we catch everyone up later. Hope everyone is having an awesome week.Read More......
I have been fighting allergies and the crud all week. I am so tired of a stopped up nose and coughing and answering the question if I have the swine flu or not.
The three people that read this blog on a regular basis are sick of me talking about the "More Than A Rock Star" series, but I just wanted to share some after thoughts:
- The three week series was designed as an outreach series. We did our best to take our creativity to the next level with our set, videos, music, skits, and give-a-ways.
- Every week, the band opened the service with a cover song and knocked it out of the park. They covered "You Found Me" by The Fray, "It Ends Tonight" by The All American Rejects, and "Dead And Gone" by T.I. and Justin Timberlake. It was incredible how each song added to the night and helped prepare the students for what God wanted to do. We caught some.
- Having an ongoing skit running before the messages was awesome and really helped to tie things together. HUGE shout out to Katie for writing those and Kyle and Lizzie for their awesome acting abilities.
- We worked really hard to have lots of things to remember this series by. Our "All Access" passes and our custom guitar picks were the icing on the cake.
- Really proud of Thrive students for inviting so many friends not only this past Wednesday but all month long. We averaged 69 students for this series with a high night of 96. The most impressive number is the 10 that made decisions to follow Jesus.