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,
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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.