Who Knows Where We’ll Go From Here

So I can’t really sleep right now for some reason. That stinks, but what are you going to do. I was just thinking about something that my wife said as a comment on my blog from the other day. It was random, but it got me thinking. She suggested that her and I start doing a blog together. I personally think that it is a great idea, so look for a link to it soon. But more so than that, the next thing she said is what got me thinking. She suggested that we do a blog together, because we might be more productive in writing if we work together. Okay follow me here. I think that it is such a perfect way to look at marriage initially and ultimately the Christian life. Of course, Kim and I are more productive when we work together, but I think that we are also more creative when we work together as well. This makes for great innovation in the way we parent the girls, and it makes for less dull time in our relationship as well. The work for the Kingdom of God would benefit greatly if we could follow this simple way of living. If we work together, serve together, and love God together we can accomplish so much more for Him. The Lone Ranger mentality truly has no place in the realm of Christianity. However, it has come to the point now where pastors and lay people alike feel they have to one up each other in order to get people to “their” church. Seriously?! I am pretty sure that is not what God had in mind when Jesus gave the Great Commission. Why does it matter if people you meet and serve in your community go to specifically your church. Just the fact that they enter any church, so long as it is a Bible believing, God serving church, is a good thing. So much cooperative community outreach ministry is hindered by the fact that each of the churches involved is too concerned with who will get the prospects from the event.

I did not mean to go on a rant, but I think that it is unhealthy, and unbiblical for that matter, for each of us to think that we have the corner on the outreach ministry market. Think of what we could do if we were willing to put aside the idea of growing “our” church and focused on growing His kingdom. This is the point that I currently find the American church, and I think these are questions that must be answered if we desire to continue to be relevant in the world.

Be encouraged to make alliances with other Christians in your community, and infiltrate your city with the love of Christ.

Advertisements
Published in: on December 12, 2009 at 4:10 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

On your mark, get set, GO!

So I have been listening to and watching the CDs and DVDs from Catalyst ’09.  I am remembering all of the great things that I heard at the conference, and I cannot help but have the question rattling around in my head, What is keeping me, or anyone for that matter, from being on HIS mark?  I us the word HIS purposefully.  Anyone can make a mark for themselves, but only a few can truly say that they can make a mark for the Lord.  In the opening session, Andy Stanley made this statement, “My mark is something far too small to spend my life working for, but God’s mark is worth everything within me and all my energy.”  That idea has caused me to think a lot over the past few days.  Am I wasting my life trying to make a mark for myself, or have I truly committed myself to letting God make His mark in and through me?  I believe that I have committed myself to God’s direction and His mark, but at times I know that my sinful and selfish nature shine through in doing things for myself.  It is the constant struggle between my flesh and my spirit.  I have the desire to live for God, but at times I stifle it in order to serve myself.  I hate it that that has to be a struggle for all of humanity, but I know that it is so that God can be glorified.  Therefore, I leave you with this question: Are you spending your life striving to leave your mark, or are you surrendering your life so that God can make His mark through you?  I would love to hear your responses.

Published in: on November 19, 2009 at 10:42 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We hurts with those who are hurting

So all this week we have been trying to get our oldest daughter, AG, to feel better.  She has the flu, unfortunately.  No, it isn’t H1N1 or anything, but it is the flu none the less.  I absolutely hate seeing her in pain and not feeling well.  This has been going on since Friday evening.  As I sit and watch her either sleep peacefully or watch TV while she is awake, I cannot help but think of the way that God the Father watches us.  I know that it may seem like a stretch to some people, but my relationship with AG is a reflection of God the Father’s relationship to me.  I know that the Bible says that God hurts with us in our suffering.  I hurt with AG as she has been going through the flu.  I wonder how incredibly more upset God is as he sees us suffering in the world be it through our own miscues or be it because of something else in this sinful world.  I just know that, as a father, I simply cannot stand it to see my little girl hurting, and I also know that my love and concern for AG is dwarfed by the love that God the Father has for me.  Therefore, I know that God is concerned with the suffering that we experience while here on earth.

However, I also know that God’s grace is made new every morning.  We can rest assured in the fact that God is still in control, and He is still on His throne.  Just as our spiritual strength is renewed every morning by God’s grace, I pray that the morning will bring renewed strength and wellness for little AG.

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Life is full of light and shadows, oh the joy, oh the sorrows

It has been a while since I blogged.  I just get so busy sometimes, and sharing my thoughts falls to the bottom of the priority list.  However, I am here now, and I will share.  A lot has happened since I last blogged.  We are starting a Hispanic service at Westside Baptist Church.  I am really excited about it.  A Hispanic service is something that is really needed in our community, and I really think that God is going to use this to change lives in the Hispanic population of our community.  We have felt as a staff that God has been leading us to this point for several months, and it is now actually going to happen.  I pray that God will bless and direct it.  Another thing that has happened is that the new David Crowder Band album has come out as well.  It is a great album.  I highly recommend that you get it if you do not have it already.  I think that it is one of the band’s most theologically deep works to date.  The title of today’s blog comes from the song “Shadows”.  One portion of the chorus says, “When all seems lost when we’re thrown and we’re tossed, we’ll remember the cost, we’re resting in the shadow of the cross.”  I love that!  No situation that we come into contact with in this life seem nearly as significant when viewed from the lens of the cross.  I think that we, as Christians, lose sight of that fact from time to time.  We can truly rest in the shadow of the cross.

I hope to bring a word of encouragement from several other songs from the album.  I hope that everyone has a great day.

How do I love her?

I really think that this blog corresponds directly with Kim’s Blog. I begin today’s post with a passage from Ephesians:

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” – Eph. 5:22-24

I begin with this because many people know it, and men have used this passage for centuries in order to lord over their wives in every way.  I am not in any way insinuating that this is not the way God intended it to be.  I think that this is the perfectly ordained order that God would have.  Wives should submit under the leadership of their husbands as equals in essence, but different in substance.  This is the way that God created it to be. However, many people, women included have an improper view of what this means.  I think that for too long people have laughed their way through the discussion of these three verses.  It think that the problem lies in the fact that people do not continue to read past verse 24.  Beginning in verse 25 we find:

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor , without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” – Eph. 5:25-27

Yes the wife is to submit herself under the leadership of her husband, but the husband in turn is to love her with a Christ-like love.  This does not mean that he laughs about the fact that she is to be made subject to him or that he treats her as if she is a slave to do anything for him.  I just think that it is time that men quit laughing their way through discussions about their wives’ submission.  Although the wife is submitting, the husband must love her in return the same way that Christ loves the church.  This really puts a huge amount of responsibility on the husband.

I guess what I am trying to say is that it is time for men, Christian men, to stop treating women as if they are inferior in every way.  Men and women are equal.  God has simply placed men in the position of leadership in the family.

I would love to know what people think about this subject.  Please comment and let me know.

Published in: on August 23, 2009 at 10:29 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Back in the saddle again…

I am back in class for the first time since the beginning of May.  I feel like it has been forever since I did any school work.  I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still alive.  Youth camp did not kill me.  These past couple weeks have been a whirlwind.  With camp and VBS being back to back I am drained of energy right now.  Now I am in class, and it is tough to stay awake.  I love seminary classes, but I am just so tired right now.  I will let you know how the week goes.

This week is also very exciting for me.  Thursday is Kim’s and my fourth anniversary, Saturday AM kim is graduating from Georgia Tech, and Saturday PM my college roommate is getting married in NC.  It will be a busy week, but a very rewarding week.  I am also very excited about the fact that kim and I have felt led of God to sponser a child through Compassion International.  Through a great amount of prayer God has introduced us to a five year old little girl from Uganda named Lunkuse.  I know that God has placed a love in our hearts for her and her family.  I cannot wait to learn more about her and tell her about us.  I am really looking forward to being a part of helping Lunkuse and her family come to know Jesus.

I hope that everyone has a great rest of the day, and I will check in later on this week.

You lead me and keep me from falling, You carry me close to Your heart…

I love those lyrics that Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman added to the traditional hymn “All The Way My Savior Leads Me.”  Just the idea that God carries us close to His heart is one that blows my mind to smithereens.  We are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and yet He wishes to protect us as a prize possession.  God loves us, and nothing can separate us from Him or His love.  Those lyrics tie into today’s post in correlation with this evening’s lesson for the youth.  We are coming off the heels of the Crazy Love study by Francis Chan, and I am trying to get the kids to understand that they simply cannot just hear what we talked about and then go about their lives as if it had no impact.  We are to go out and show the crazy love that God has for us to those we interact with everyday, and then we must move out of our respective comfort zones and reach others we do not know.  In James, we are called to be not only hearers of the Word, but doers as well.  I am trying to show the youth practical example of people who have done just that.  Tonight we are going to be talking about the story of TOMS Shoes.  It is a shoe company that gives away a pair of shoes to a kid in need for every pair of shoes that someone buys.  It is a moving and inspiring story.  If you want to read more about the company click here.  I also highly recommend that you buy a pair of shoes as well.  I am just really committed to trying to equip our youth at Westside with the knowledge of ways that they can make an impact in this world for the name of Christ.  It is so important to me that when I leave this place the youth here and those who have already moved on are able to say that I gave them the opportunity to minister.  I simply wish to show them the many avenues of ministry, and let them pray and ask God to show them which one to travel down.  I will let you know how the discussion goes this evening tomorrow.  Have a great evening.

So I will dance with Cinderella while she is here in my arms…

I am writing today to simply say that I cannot believe that it has been two years.  This Saturday we are having AG’s second birthday party, and it truly does seem like yesterday that she was just born.  It is weird.  I mean it seems like just a minute ago that I met her for the first time, but then again it seems like she has always been here.  She is such a amazing little girl.  I love to watch her as she tries to figure things out and as she plays with her toys.  She is so incredibly smart.  She is always doing things or saying things that amaze Kim and me.  We are constantly saying, “What 2 year old knows that or what it means?”  It is crazy how smart she is.  She is also such a great big sister.  She loves Sophie so much, and she wants to help as much as she can.  Kim and I let her do as much as she is able to.  She is constantly wanting to give Sophie kisses and hugs.  In fact, sometimes we have to tell her to chill for a little bit to give Sophie a break.  However, it is just crazy to me that she is already two years old.  The time has flown by.  I love her more than words could ever express, and she makes me smile in so many ways.  There are times when I want to pinch her little head off, but they are always tempered by times of great fun and laughing.  I love my daughter, and I cannot wait to see her grow more and more.

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Baby love, my baby love….

The only thing I have to say today is that I am so ready for S to be born.  I am tired of waiting.  I want to meet her, hold her, love on her, and see her.  We have come to the point where she could come at any given moment.  It is stressful to me that we have to be in limbo at all times.  I am just really ready for her to be here.  I cannot wait for her and AG to meet each other.  I think that AG is going to be a great big sister.  Pray hard that God will make it so that S will be born soon.

Published in: on June 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Ain’t no cure for the summertime blues…

I know it has been a while, but I had a really busy week last week.  This past Sunday I preached to the whole congregation.  It went really well.  The title of the sermon was “Are You Serving Leftovers to a Holy God?”  My text was Revelation 3:15-22.  I know, it was a bold text for my first sermon ever, but I wanted to share some things that God had been showing me recently.  Most of it was spurred on by the Crazy Love study that I have been doing with the youth.  God is worthy of the best we have to give Him, and yet so often we try to give Him our leftovers, spiritually, physically, and mentally.  This is an offense to God.  How arrogant of us to think that something on this earth is more important than the God of the universe.  It went really well though.  I was really nervous on Saturday, but on Sunday morning I was cool as a cucumber.  It was really neat, because it was like God was saying to me, “Hey I can get you through this.  Just trust in me and I will give you the words.”  I think that the message was received well.

I also write today to inform you few readers that it is now to the point that at any given moment S could be born.  Kim and I are really excited, and a little bit apprehensive.  I mean it is a huge step going from one kid to two kids.  I know that God will lead us through the adjustment process, though.  I am really looking forward to meeting the little girl that I am already madly in love with even though I have no idea what she looks like.

I am glad that it finally feels like summer, however, I really wish that I had a pool that I could go chill out in.  I don’t know why, but the past few days I have had an overwhelming desire to just go float in a pool and catch some sun rays.  I love swimming, and I really want to go play in the water with AG some time soon.  Alas, I do not know when that time will be.  I guess I will have to go cut the grass this afternoon, and then play in the water hose instead.