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Friday, December 31, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Here are a couple New Year's Day Superstitions, some I have heard of and some I have not:

Wear New Clothes
People believe that one should wear new clothes on a New Year's Day. This would mean receiving more new garments during the year. Red clothing is preferred for New Year's Day since red is considered a happy colour and is sure to attract for the wearer a brighter future.

Avoid Crying
It is said that one should avoid breaking things or crying and wailing on the first day of the year, if you don't want to continue the pattern for the entire year.
Don't Let Money Leave the House

In several countries, people do not let money, jewelry, precious items or other invaluable things leave home on New Year Day. Hence it is said that one should not pay loans and bills or lend things to anybody. People go to the extent of not taking out garbage or even not dusting their carpets on this day to ensure that nothing goes out of home during the year. If you have to deliver presents on New Year morning, it is advised to leave them in the car since New Year Eve on December 31st. In case you must take something out from the home, let someone come with the present inside the home first.

Letting the Old Year Out
At midnight, all the doors of a house must be opened to let the old year escape unimpeded.

Stack Up Cupboards and Wallets
It is believed that cupboards stocked up with food and wallets and purses full of money bring prosperity in New Year. Similarly, empty pockets or empty cupboards on New Years Eve portend a year of poverty.

Do not Wash Dishes
In several societies washing dishes and doing laundry on New Year's day is said to lead to a death in the family during the year. Many people do not even wash hair on New Year day.
Eat Black-Eyes Peas

In Southern part of the United States it is said that eating of black-eyed peas on New Year's Day will attract both general good luck and money in particular to the one doing the dining.

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Change only comes when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

Everything comes with price. You can either pay the price up front or later.

Life is full of seasons. Nature does not fight seasons but we do. We can learn from whatever season that we are in. Every has a purpose.

Grace is free, trust is earned, integrity is built, character is developed, and all are important.

God is aware of me even when I am not aware of Him. You may loose yourself but God never looses you.

People that know your flaws and still choose to walk with you in life are priceless.

Never ask God to take something away that you are not willing to give up.

Your decisions and actions give voice to your priorities, you do not have to tell anyone what is important to you.

Unhealthy expectations only lead to disappointment and frustration.

You can only be a dreamer if you have a firm grip on reality.

Your words are one of the most powerful things on earth. They can either be used as a weapon or a tool. Choose them carefully.

Happiness is found in the simple things.

You can not do much about what is behind you anymore, but you can fight for the days ahead. Just keep rowing!

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Today I am praying and writing out my New Year's Resolutions. Although, I am called them goals. Every year this is something that I love to do. I reach about half of them each year, so I dream big. There is something I heard about 10 years ago that I have tried to live by. "If you aim for the moon, you may hit a star, but if you aim next door, you may hit that as well."

I am not sure what 2011 looks like. We never really now what each year holds and really can not control as much as we think we can. We may not control what happens around us but we can control how we act and react to each situation. So, today I will spend a lot of time looking into my own life and seeing what needs to be change and what I need to reach for.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Christmas is over. A lot of people have already taking their decorations down. Radio stations are not playing Christmas music anymore. Stores are having after Holiday Sales. Everyone is gearing up to ring in 2011. A lot of people are ready to put 2010 behind them. Act like the year never happened. I understand. It has not been a banner year for me either. But to want to disconnect your future from your past is not smart. It is like a scuba diver going on a dive without his wet suit or oxygen tank.

You do not have to relive the events of this past year but you have to understand that they have contributed to help make you who you are. You would not be you without them. If you pretend that they did not happen you are saying that God is not in control and He is not taking what was meant for evil and destruction and turning it for good. He is not molding you and shaping you into who He has created you and called you to be.

The past prepares us for the future. What happened yesterday does not have to dictate what happens tomorrow but it can help guide us through it.

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Monday, December 27, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

There was a day after Christmas in the Bible. I wonder was it as disappointing as the 26th of December in our time? Our culture pushes and pushes Christmas Day so hard that we are let down the day after. What happens next? What do we do now? What is left? His story does not end with His birth. The story of Jesus actually is just beginning. It gets more exciting everyday. As a matter of fact, people still came and worshiped after that Blessed night.

As Christ followers we should not feel the after Christmas let down. We do not worship a day, we worship a Savior. Our culture may worship a holiday but we give our life to a King who still sits on His throne and whose Kingdom is still advancing today. For us Christmas is a special day, but so should everyday be.

December 25th does not mean a thing unless we live it out the other 364 days in the year.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Isaiah 6:9, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

To US a child is born, to US a son is given. To you and to me. Immanuel, God with us. He loved us so much that He refused to leave us alone. It was on this day that He showed us that He is not some distant far away God but a personal, loving Savior. This is the day that changed everything. The day that love came down and took on flesh. The day God said He could not be without us. The day that He gave us a choice again. Love and life became a viable option, a choice that we can make because love lived and died and defeated death. Everything change today because a child was born, because a son was given. To US!

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Saturday, December 25, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

I pray that you have a great day with friends and family! Have a very Merry Christmas!

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Spending a couple days down in Adel, GA at my family's for Christmas. Love spendind time down here. I am reminded of how simple life is. A place where friends are family and tradition is important. Christmas is about the birth of Christ and the saving of the world. That is the meaning but it is also about family, tradtions, and love. Everyone should have some tradtions that they hold to every Christmas. My family has had them and yours should too.

Every Christmas Eve when we are down here we always go to Shoney's breakfast buffet. We are like the Klump's from the Nutty Professor but we have fun. Then we fix finger foods to munch on all day. There have been more through the years but as we have gotten older and moved away it has been harder to hold on to them.

Traditions are great and they help you hold on to memories. Sometimes they are memories you might need to let go of. You might need some new traditions this year for Christmas.

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Friday, December 24, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

When I was young we had a tradition in my family. At some point around Christmas my Grandma would take the Grandkids into the living room and read the Christmas Story. She would not only read it to us, she would charge us the responsibility of placing the figures in the Nativity Scene. It is one of my favorite Christmas memories and as a kid one of my favorite traditions. As I have grown older I have accepted the cookie cutter story. I knew the Wise Men did not come to Bethlehem and I knew it did not play out exactly like my Grandma's little Nativity but I never really pushed it. Here are some thoughts that I have had this season:

Mary was 13-16 years old. A teenager changed the world by saying yes to God. Wow. I truly believe that is the call on this generation today as well. God is looking for students who are willing to say yes to Him.

The Shepherds were the outcast and the forgotten. They heard the message from the Angels, they saw Jesus for themselves, they believed, and then they went and told. They went back into the town that rejected them and shared the story of Christ.

Emmanuel - God with us. God came down. He could have left us alone, but He loved us too much. Even when you would like for God to leave you alone, He will alway be pursuing us.

Look at Jesus' family history. His family was more jacked up that mine.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

This Christmas season has been fun. Getting to decorate a new house and watching lots of Christmas movies.

My favorite Christmas album this season is called This Warm December. It has Jack Johnson and other artist on it. It is really awesome.

Have not read like I have wanted to, but plan on changing that this week.

This past weekend we had friends over and really enjoyed hanging out and celebrating this season.

One of my favorite things this Christmas is buying gifts from The Jubilee Market. The gifts are made by young girls rescued from sex slavery. We decided if we were going to give gifts, we should give gifts that matter. I will put up links to different sights later on today.

This week I am just going to share some randomness on my blog about different things about this season. Things I am seeing different.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Monday, December 13, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Monday, December 6, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Over the years I have been a part of a lot of Christmas plays. I can not sing and I can not act so I have never had a leading role. Actually I have never had more than one line. To be honest, I have always hated Christmas plays. As much as I have disliked all the plays, I loved the rehearsals. I loved hanging with my friends and laughing and goofing off. Most of the time I got in trouble but the rehearsals were fun.

Anyone who has ever been involved with a Christmas play knows the schedule. It starts the first Sunday after Thanksgiving and you rehearse and practice. The weekend of the event you have dress rehearsal. Everyone gets dress up and acts out their parts but it does not count. It is not the real deal.

The issue that we have with life is that we treat today like that. We act like today is a dress rehearsal for tomorrow. That is not the case. If you woke up with breath in your lungs and you are moving, TODAY COUNTS!

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It is December 1st. Like I said yesterday you can not stop time. Today is Wednesday and it is my favorite day of the week. It is GAME DAY BABY! It is the day when Thrive students come together and a community is formed. I love those students and am very proud and privileged to get to call myself their Youth Pastor. Tonight we are kicking off our new series "Christmas Conspiracy" with a conversation about Christmas and how lost the meaning really is.

Last night several of us decorated and it looked like Christmas threw up everywhere. I love it! There is nothing better to me that making memories. Writing names on ornaments, picking on each other, laughing about stupid lights that will not work, and taking it all in at the end. Memories made, hope renewed, joy found, laughter given, it was a great day. I am excited about this season, I am excited to take it all in. Christmas will throw up again at the Gordon House this Friday night. It will be an adventure!

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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As I was walking on the treadmill this morning it hit me, this is the last day of November. Seriously? Tomorrow is the first day of December. It is the first day of the last month of 2010. Wow! Where has time gone? Where has this year gone? We are in the Holiday season and I do not even feel like we got out of Summer good. Are you with me? Wasn't it just Labor Day last week?

As the Holidays are coming and there is nothing we can do to stop it or slow time down, I am challenged this morning to enjoy it. If there is one thing that I have learned this year it is that you can not stop time or go back in time, but you can enjoy your time if you fight for it. My challenge this Christmas season is to simply enjoy it. Enjoy everything about it. This time of year is not about how YOU feel, it is about what YOU do with it. Enjoy it, make the most out of it.

What will you do to enjoy this season? What are you planning so that another Christmas does not just fly by? Make the most of every moment. Take in every memory. Partake in old family traditions and make new ones. Do not let this season just pass by. Capture it!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Retailers started putting Christmas decorations out after Labor Day. Killing me!!!! My Pastor said the other day that in a couple of years there will not be a Thanksgiving. That is not right. We live and a society that is consumer driven and does not really know how to be grateful and thankful anymore. That is a different blog for a different day.

I have some Holiday rules that I wanted to share that I institute in my life through this Season. I am a traditionalist at heart and love adding new traditions to my life every year. Here are my rules....

The Christmas season does not begin until after I have seen Santa Claus on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I do not listen to Christmas music until the Friday after Thanksgiving.

We put up Christmas decorations the first weekend in December, not any sooner.

I can not drink a white peppermint mocha from Starbucks until the say after Thanksgiving.

I do not start watching Christmas movies until the Monday of December.

We will only go see one Christmas movie in the theaters all season long.

I believe that Christmas has become all about Consumerism and not about what it is really about. I will share some more thoughts on that in a later blog. I put these rules in my life so that I enjoy every season and do not miss anything that it offers. I hope you and your family are gearing up to have a great Thanksgiving.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Yesterday was a very scattered day. Had way too much going for Game Day.

Did not feel like we hit a groove until about half way through the service.

As we are looking at redefining the way we do Youth Ministry we are seeing that things we deem as important are not necessary for the Holy Spirit to work in student's life.

We spent some time being intentional about building our community last night and getting to know come people that we normal may not.

The pea game up front was a blast. Congrats to Connor for pulling a big win.

We launch our new series, "The Forgotten" last night.

Love talked about Baptism. Why should we get Baptized, what it means, and how to live it out. Grateful for students that "get it."

Very proud of how many students were serving in our Food Bank before service started.

Started our new text a thought part of the message last night. Went really well. Enjoyed reading the students thoughts as they shared them.

Love what God is doing in Thrive and can not wait to see what He does through us.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Mercy is a word that is used in church and by Christians to refer to how God has acted on our behalf. Mercy is something that we receive and really do not know how to give. Mercy. I see it as knowing you are right and someone is wrong and not holding it against them. You could. You would be justified. No one would blame you. But you choose to let it go. Not only let it go but to never bring it up again. You do not forget it, but you do not hold it against them. Mercy. Something else that we want to be shown but a lot of the times we have trouble showing it.

We want justice according to our standards. We want people to be repaid for the hurt that they have caused us. God has called us to show mercy like he has shown us.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Saturday, November 6, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Really working this week on trying to live words out instead of saying them. One word that I struggle with is grace. It is a word that we throw around a lot in church these days. I believe that we can over use a word and under live it. Grace is easy to say and easy to talk about but difficult to live out. Most of the time we do not give out the same grace that we are willing to receive. We want and expect grace for God and from others but yet we are not willing to show it or live it ourselves. I believe no matter who we are that our humanity will get in the way from time to time.

To have grace means to love without condition. To give grace means that the love you have is bigger that the microscope that you are viewing everyone's life under. To live grace means that you love not expecting anything in return. That you are not blind to a person's flaws but you do not let that affect your love of that person.

Grace is not an excuse to allow people to make bad decisions and speak truth in love, grace is loving them no matter how they receive it. Grace is having no agenda expect for God's agenda. Seeing people as He does and loving them in-spite of everything.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Monday I blogged about how words are meaningless without action and what we do is a lot louder than what we say. One of the words that I am trying to live out is compassion. I believe that compassion is seeing someone's pain through their own eyes. From their perspective. Not necessarily fixing the problem but being there for them. Standing with them and at time standing for them. Compassion is tough to live out. If we have never been through what they are walking through it is impossible to understand their pain. You may not be able to understand their pain but you do understand pain. You understand what it does to your mind, how it haunts you. What it does to your soul, how it eats at you. What it does to your spirit, how it weighs you down. You may not be able to say you have been where they have been, but you can say you know what pain is like.

Hurting people do not always want the solutions to their problems, they just want someone to know where they are. They want to know that they are not forgotten. Compassion is simply reminding the hurting people around you that you have not forgotten them. It might be a smile, it may be an encouraging note, a small gift, or just your presence.

Will you choose today to be compassionate. Choose to recognize someone else's pain and act. Even though you may deal with it differently, they still need your compassion.

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I have been on a journey since March of this year to loose weight and get in shape. I decided a month or so ago that I wanted to start riding a bike to continue my journey. Last Friday I got on a rode bike for the first time. About half way through I thought I had lost my mind. I thought the bike did not work right or my legs did not work right or something. By the time I got back to the house I was ready to throw the bicycle in the garbage. After I caught my breath and my legs stopped shaking I decided to give it another shot.

Today I got back on it and rode again. After struggling a little while I sort of figured out the gears and it made the hills a little more tolerable. My favorite part is the back side of the hill. I love going down hill. I can catch my breath, I do not have to work as hard. The only thing is that once I get to the bottom of a hill there is another to start climbing. The thing that I figured out today is that if I coast for too long on the downside of a hill then it makes climbing the next hill harder.

As I was struggling up a hill and figuring this out, it hit me that life is a lot like that. We fight and struggle to climb the hill we are on. We push and peddle, knowing that on the other side we can coast. Take life easy for a little while. Breath. The kicker is that if we coast for too long it will make the next hill we have to climb tougher. You need to start peddling on the downside. You have to just keep peddling. Keep pushing. Keep fighting. You can catch your breath for a second, but do not coast for too long.

Just keep peddling, even on the downhill stretch.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Goals are very important to set. It is hard to know where you have been and where you are going without putting markers out. Things to let you know how you are progressing. I want to put some November goals I have on here to help remind me of what I need to be doing.

Loose 13 pounds

Go to the gym 20 times

Read and study through the book of Proverbs slowly.

Go camping once

Read two books
Wasabi Gospel by Shawn Wood
Follow Me to Freedom by John Perkins and Shane Claiborne

Listen to 6 podcasts

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Monday, November 1, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Words mean nothing. What you do and how you do it scream so much louder than what you say. Most of the time people can not hear what you are saying because of how you are living. How you treat people. What you do when no one is looking. How you treat the people who do not look like you or act like you. Your actions give your priorities a voice. You never have to tell people what is important to you, they know it by the way you live. Words mean nothing unless you live them out. Unless people see them. Words are useless without action. I am trying to talk less and live more. Here are some words I want to live out.

Compassion - see people's pain from their perspective.

Grace - loving for no reason and expecting no return.

Mercy - forgetting what has happened and loving any way.

Community - making people feel comfortable in their own skin.

Words mean nothing. Actions mean everyting

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Can Christians say Happy Halloween? I do not know but, Happy Halloween. Have a good weekend and enjoy the weather. Laugh with friends and give kids some candy. Enjoy life.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

During a conversation with a friend the other day a statement was made and it has really stuck with me. Pain is the fertilizer of life. Pain causes us to grow. To get out of our comfort zone. To stretch beyond who we are and who we have been. Pain puts a dependency in our life on God. Pain reveals who we really are and what is in us. Pain is the fertilizer of life.

Think about it.....

Pain is messy and no one likes to touch it.

Pain stinks and no one likes to be around it.

Pain is temporary but if applied right the results can be beneficial.

A lot of times pain will shift our focus in life. If you let it, it will take the focus off of you and place it where it should be. Instead of letting pain stunt you and stop you, let it propel you and push you.

Pain is a fertilizer if applied right to you life....

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Saturday, October 30, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Friday, October 29, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »