I scream, you scream, we all scream…

Sorry I have been out of the loop as of late.  I have been incredibly busy the past week.  It was as if everything for school and work was all due at the same time.  However, the family and I had a great trip to New Orleans this past weekend.  It was Kim’s first time to the Crescent City, so I showed her around a little bit.  We had a great time, and the classes that I had to take while I was down there were great as well.  AG had a great time also.  She got to run around in the grass and play of some great playgrounds with Kimmie while I was in class.  It was a lot of fun.

You are probably wondering about the title for today.  Well we are going to have a little ice cream sundae party with the youth tonight.  I think that it should be a lot of fun.  We are taking a break in the middle of our Crazy Love study to just kick back for a night.  Also we are going to discuss what we have covered so far in the study to try to catch everyone up who may have missed anything.  We are also going to talk about the plans for the summer.  It is going to be a very busy summer with a new baby coming for our family, youth camp, Kim’s parents visiting from Illinois, and me taking a class in July, but it will be a lot of fun with the youth group as well.  I hope that they are talkative tonight, and that they have ideas about things they want to do that are actually plausible.

I am looking forward to the end of this semester at school so that I can have a little bit of time to actually think about life.  I am excited about what God is going to do in my life in the next couple of months.

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And a friend’s a friend forever, if the Lord’s the Lord of them…

I talked earlier today with one of my best friends in this world.  David Y. is a great friend.  We have know each other for more than ten years, and we have been the greatest of friends for nearly that long.  I am excited that Kim and I will get to meet them for dinner this weekend.  I bring this up to say that I have come to the realization that God places people in our lives that help us in exactly the way that we need.  Some of you may say, “Well duh, Jason.  God Knows what He is doing all of the time.”  To which I respond, “Yes, I know.”  However, I am talking about the people that God directs our lives to cross paths with that stick with you for years and years, and they know you better than a brother or sister sometimes.

I can honestly say that of all of the friends, or acquaintances, that I had in high school and college, there are truly only a handful of people that fall into this category.  David is one such person.  He makes me a better person.  God uses him to speak truth into my life at times when I most need it.  Of course I get encouragement and love from my wife and family, but this is a different kind of encouragement.  I don’t know how to explain it.  When I am in a funk of some sort in my ministry, I know that I can call on David, and he has an encouraging word that will lift my spirit.  It is different from any other person.  God uses him to build me up and help me realize that I am not in this alone.  I am just so thankful for godly friends that have been placed in my life to encourage and inspire me.  Not to mention, David is a wicked good keyboard player and an awesome lawyer.

I eoncourage you to find someone like David in your life.  I can assure you that God has placed or is going to place someone in your life like that.  I would love to hear your thoughts on what it means to have godly, Christian friends in your life.

I hear the voice of many angels sing, “Worthy is the Lamb!”

I hope that everyone had a great Easter yesterday.  We had a great service yesterday morning.  We had so many people there at the church, and God showed up as well.  There was some real worship taking place.  I enjoyed the fact that people seemed to be worshiping genuinely during the service.  I also really enjoyed that Kim got to sing with me on one of the songs.  I love singing with her.  I truly miss it that she is not up there with me from week to week.  I want to start working it so that she is up there more often with me.  She has a great voice, and I know that she loves to sing as well.  I just really enjoy getting to lead worship together with her, and I want it to start happening again.  I so love it that God has blessed me with a wife who loves Him just as much as I do.

I also wanted to tell everyone how precious my daughter is.  All day yesterday she was going around singing “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star.”  It is so precious to hear her.  I love it that she is learning so much.  She really has an amazingly large vocabulary to not even be two years old yet.  I love that she is so very smart.  I just wanted to say that I hope that everyone had a great Easter celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Published in: on April 13, 2009 at 7:51 pm  Comments (2)  
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Your mercy reigns, Your mercy comes, Your mercy falls, and rises with the sun.

So we have been doing this Crazy Love study with the youth of the past couple of weeks.  This is week three of the study, I and am expecting pretty good discussion this evening.  I won’t give everything that we are talking about away, so that you will check in tomorrow to read about the discussion that we had.  However, as I read through the chapter getting ready for this week I was struck by an overwhelming feeling of how much God loves me.  Francis Chan writes, “The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.  He treasures us and anticipates our departure from this earth to be with Him…” (pg. 59).  We have such a warped view of the relationship between God and ourselves that we often overlook this irony all together.  God wants to have this intensely intimate relationship with us and we so casually brush Him off as if he were some bum on the street.  How incredibly arrogant!  The God of the universe loves us.  Don’t just pass by that thought, because you have heard it before.  I think I should say it again.

The God of the universe loves you and me!

This is a massive truth that cannot simply be passed by without dwelling on it.  This God who does not have to love us and is totally complete and perfect on His own wants to have a relationship with you.  This truth has monumental implications for each person’s life whether they realize it or not.  God has a crazy love for us that is beyond human comprehension, and we act as if we could take it or leave it on any given day.  You have to ask yourself the question, “If the God of the universe loves me this much, why do I not take the time to see what He is all about?”

Think about how your life might look different if you lived like you fully believed that God loves you.  I can promise you that He does, and He wants you to turn to Him.  God gives us so much on a daily basis, and we just accept it as if we were entitled to it to begin with.  I will close today with another quote from Francis Chan.  “The best things in life are gifts from the One who steadfastly loves us.  But an important question to ask ourselves is this: Are we in love with God or just His stuff?”

Halleluiah! Thank you Jesus. Lord you are worthy of all the glory…

I love the Lord!  Jesus is so good to me in so many ways.  I complain about a lot of stuff, but I really don’t need to do that because God has blessed me so very much.  I have everything to be thankful for.

I have a question that I want to propose to those who read this blog.  I have been thinking a lot lately about grace.  I am truly not worthy of what God gives me, on my own.  However, in Christ I can approach the throne with confidence.  I was wondering what others think about grace.  The concept, the thought, the idea.  I have always thought of grace as God given us what we don’t deserve, but I wonder if others feel the same way.  I was really hoping to start some good discussion with this idea.  Let me know what you think and how you feel.

Published in: on April 7, 2009 at 6:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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How do I love her…

I am sitting here beside my daughter watching Mickey Mouse Club House.  I don’t mind watching Mickey.  He isn’t that bad.  I just love Monday mornings.  I get to spend the whole morning with AG just hanging out.  I love the time I get to spend with her.  She is so cool.  Sure some times she disobeys, and I have to discipline her, but she really is a great kid.  She has not moved a muscle while I have been typing.  She loves Mickey Mouse.  I love that God has blessed me with her.  Kim and I are so incredibly blessed to have been entrusted with teaching her the ways of God.

I am looking forward to school this afternoon.  I really love my seminary classes.  I am getting close to being done.  I am praying over whether or not to continue on to get my Ph.D.  I think that I could make a lot of impact for the Kingdom of God with that kind of training, but honestly it would mean that I would have to move the family to New Orleans.  I am trying to figure out what God would have me to do.  I guess that is a big prayer request for us right now.

I hope that everyone has a great day.  If you live in Georgia, enjoy the cold weather today.

We are fam-i-ly….

I had a wonderful day today.  I got to spend the entire day with my wife and daughter, and I absolutely love days like that.  It started off slow enough, well sort of.  AG was wide awake at 6:00 AM this morning, which meant that either Kim or I had to be up at 6:00 AM as well.  I took her out to the living room to lay on the couch with her so that Kim could sleep for a little while longer.  We really just lounged around for the rest of the morning.  Dozing on and off until about lunch time.  Then we got up, showered and got dressed and hit the road.  We ate lunch at Taco Bell.  You know really wholesome healthy food, but it was good.  After that we went to a restaurant supply store that I wanted to show Kim.  She had never been, and it is a pretty cool place even though all of their stuff is really expensive.  The place is called Restaurant Solutions.  We just looked around for a little bit, and then we hit the road again.  We left from there and went to Harry’s Farmers Market.  We love that place.  It is basically a Whole Foods Markets, but it has a different name.  In fact it is owned by Whole Foods, but whatever.  We walked around there for a little while, and we bought a couple ears of corn and some Bartlett Pears.  Then we went to Sam’s and Wally World on the way home.  When we got home.  Kim and AG both took a nap for about an hour on the couch, and I spread some Scott’s Turf Builder + Weed Control on the yard.  Really fun, you know?  When I finished that I just chilled for a little while as they finished their nap.

We grilled out pork chops and the corn for dinner.  It was really good.  We played in the yard for a while too.  Here are a couple pictures of that.

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We had a great time.  After dinner we went to what is quite possible one of the coolest parks I have ever been to.  It is really close to our house too.  We played on a playground and fed some fish and geese.  We capped off the night with some ice cream.

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We had a great day!  God has blessed me with such a great family, and I love spending time with them.

It’s gonna be a bright, bright sun shiny day!

Yeah the sun has finally come out in the Atlanta metro area.  It is supposed to be really windy today though, but that is okay cause I like the wind.  I love days like this.  It is Friday, so the weekend starts this afternoon.  I really don’t have anything to do work wise today.  I have a very small two page paper to write for school and I need to take an online quiz.  Other than that, though, I am a man with nothing to do today.  I will knock those two assignments out this morning, and I will have the rest of the weekend to spend with the family.  I love weekends like that.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day, so maybe Kim and I can take AG to feed some ducks or something.  That would be really fun I think.

I am excited about tonight.  We are having company over for dinner.  We really like the Gwaltneys.  They are super nice people and good friends.  I am also excited about what we are having for dinner.  Kim is making baked ziti.  YUM!  I like her baked ziti.  It is all cheesy and sausagey and everything.  I am looking forward to it.

I also wanted to just say how much I love my daughter.  Last night I went to put her in her bed, and she said, “I wanna rock.”  We have a glider rocking chair in her room, so I sat down with her in my lap for a few minutes.  She just lays her head on my chest and gets into sleepy mode.  I sang a couple of songs to her, and then I asked if she was ready to lay down in her bed.  She said, “Yes.”  As I was walking out of the room she said, “Night night daddy.”  I love that!  Then if that was not enough, this morning she woke me up with a kiss.  She is so precious.  I am a very blessed man.  God has given me so much to be thankful for.  I have a gorgeous wife, a wonderful daughter, a great job, and an awesome home to live in.  God is so good to me.

Published in: on April 3, 2009 at 9:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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I might not finish this blog post

I know that it is a morbid thought, but it is true.  The fact of the matter is that each one of us will die at some point.  It is a dark thought to have, but at any given moment you or I could drop dead.  The question is, “Are you ready?”

I have decided, at the urging of my wife, to commit Thursday blog posts to recalling the discussion that we had with the youth group on Wednesday night.  Last night was week two of the Crazy Love study with the youth.  Francis Chan was talking about living our lives as if today were the last day we had on this earth.  If we are being truly honest with ourselves we do not live like that.  We would lead much different lives if truly believed that.  God has so much for us to do that will bless us immeasurably, and we think that we can do it later because we have all of the time in the world.  That is simply not the case.  We must live with a sense of urgency.  Francis makes a statement to the effect of, “Think about this.  Today is not a normal day.  Today could be the day that you actually see God.  We talk about when we get to see him, and what we will do, but today you could actually close your eyes in one instant and open them in front of the throne of God.”  The question that comes to my mind is, if that is the case then why do our lives not reflect that truth?  

We had a great discussion last night.  We talked about how we need to live our lives in a way that exhibits the fact that we are going to live lives that make Jesus famous in our world.  I asked them the question, “If you were to die today and stood before the throne of God, is there anything you would regret?  What can you do today to make sure that you do not have those regrets anymore?”  This fostered some really good discussion.  It is something that we all need to think about.  

Are we ready?  Are we living in a way that shows we value this day to do God’s work on earth?  Do we exhibit the fame of Jesus Christ on a daily basis?  Think about these questions, and please leave your thoughts.

Published in: on April 2, 2009 at 9:29 am  Comments (1)  
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I get down, but He lifts me up.

I have to admit that the first three months of this year have been very hectic, and it really won’t get any better until after May 11th.  I am right in the middle of what is possibly the most crazy semester of school that I have ever taken in my life.  No, it is most definitely the craziest semester of my life.  I would not recommend that anyone ever take 23 credit hours in one semester.  It has been crazy.  I mean  I am making it through, but it has been an outrageous amount of work.  I have to keep a tight schedule every week in order to get all of my schoolwork and church work done.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed by it all, but God is helping me through.  The great thing about it all is that I only have like 15 credit hours left to take after this semester.  It will be a little bit easier as I get closer to graduation.  I am glad that this semester is getting close to being over.  Sometimes it seems like there is no way that I can get everything done, but then God give me the strength to push through.  He is always faithful to give me the exact energy that I need to get done what needs to get done.

I am really liking this new study that we are doing with the youth.  Francis Chan asks questions that really make you think, but in a way that help you to grow in your walk with God.  I am looking forward to this evening.  We will be talking about how short life is, and we must make the most of our time here on earth.  God has given us a mission, and we must work on it with all of our might in the time that we have.  Pray that the youth will be talkative tonight.  The discussion is so much better when they want to talk about stuff.

Published in: on April 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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