Monday, December 29, 2008

Razorback ESPN Commercial

I saw this video on a friend's video and absolutely loved it. Especially the kid at the end. So I decided to share it with all my fellow Hog fans as a great way to put a smile on your face.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Missing Piece...

I had a friend send me a poem as she has been thinking our family during this holiday season, the first without Kiley. I thought I'd post it here, wanting to share it with my family. The whole "holidays without Kiley" hasn't really hit me yet. I don't know if I'm just numb to it or if I'm just keeping myself so busy with the hopes that my mind won't have time to think about it. I'm sure it will hit when I am home on Thursday. But anyway, here's the poem:

"I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below.
With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars, reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear;
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear.
But the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you the joy their voices bring.
For it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away, we really aren't apart.
I cannot tell you of the splendor or the peace inside this place
Can you imagine Christmas with our Savior, face to face?

I will ask him to light your spirit as I tell him of your love.
So then pray for one another as you lift your eyes above.
So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you dear.
And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold.
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do.
For I can't count the blessing or love he has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.
Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year."

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Nativity Story

I watched the movie, "The Nativity Story" last night with my youth and I just want to encourage you to watch it if you haven't done so already. For one, it is a well done movie (not like cheap Bible movies with bad acting) but it does a great job of allowing you to look past the compressed story in Scripture and fill in a lot of gaps and look at reactions and emotions that were felt by the likes of Mary and Joseph and the people of Nazareth and Bethlehem. Don't get me wrong, its not perfect, there are some Biblical inaccurate stuff in the movie because it follows much of the biblically inaccurate "Christmas story," but it is very well done in my non-professional opinion.

This Christmas season, sit down with your friends and family and watch "The Nativity Story," then discuss different aspects, emotions, and reactions; as well as ways that it is both biblically accurate and inaccurate. You can rent it at Blockbuster for like a buck.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Who am I to judge?

Throughout my life, I have always been taught to never judge. To leave "judging" up to God. This statement has always been accompanied with Matthew 7:5 - "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Thats just it though, remove the log from our eye so that we can remove the speck from somebody else. 

Often times, Christians get defensive when you point out sin in their life saying "Don't judge me" and quoting Matthew 7:5, but who am I to judge? According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:11-13, We, Christ followers, are to judge... as long as we are first examining and eliminating sin from our own lives. "But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. 'Expel the wicked man from among you.'"

Paul is pretty blunt in his statement. Believers are not to judge those outside the church, that is to be left to God, but "anyone who calls himself a brother" should be held accountable by his/her fellow believers. We are to "Expel the wicked man from among you" by either removing the wickedness in the man or removing the man. 

The church has become so stagnant because of trying to be politically correct and not judging people that it makes me sick. We allow sin among believers so much to the point that it comes across as approving of that lifestyle. It absolutely makes me sick. I believe in loving all and being open to all as a church, but when somebody calls themself a brother or sister in Christ, life-change should happen and we should be the first to encourage it. Paul says so himself.

I was at a Christian camp this past summer and was in a small group with a couple of self-proclaimed believers that were gay/lesbian. One day in our small group, they asked the question if homosexuals could get into heaven. (I believe that homsexuality is a sin and cannot keep you out of heaven just like any other sin cannot keep you out of heaven.) But the other students responded to the degree that they felt there was nothing wrong with homosexuality. And the students that did have a problem with it didn't say anything. Now these students are, more than anything, mirroring the attitudes and responses that they have seen in adults toward similar issues. 

My problem is that how can the church expect its congregation to leave sinful lifestyles if we do not act against them. If we only act like there is nothing wrong with these sinful lifestyles, almost to the point that it comes across as approval, then are we ourselves guilty of sin? I challenge each and everyone one of you to first examine your own life and remove the log from your own eye, but then to push your brothers and sisters in Christ to overcome their own sin.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Son of a Pharisee...

Ok, for starters "Son of a Pharisee" is my new cuss word. Some of you already heard me explain it, if you haven't it stems from an event at National Youth Workers Convention. If you need more explanation then let me know. 

So today I went to Wal-Mart. I've been needing to go for groceries for about three weeks now and just haven't made time. Being my day off and getting desperate for food, I decided to go. Big mistake! I quickly realized why I have always gone to Wal-Mart after 9 PM. Parking lot...full, store...full, my patience...quickly ran out. Old people were everywhere! And old people seem to just stand around or move extra slow so that it feels like an obstacle course trying to get where you want to be. Needless to say, I will quickly return to my late night Wal-Mart trips when aisles are clear, lines are short, and old people are fast asleep at home.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Apostasy

I was reading this morning and came across another verse that I felt pointed toward the idea of apostasy, which is an abandoning of what one believed in, as a faith, political party, principles, etc, rather than the Calvinist (Baptist) view of "once saved always saved" or the Armenian (Methodist) view of being able to lose salvation. This post is really simply in addition to my previous post (which I wrote before ever knowing the word apostasy) which can be found here.

In Mark 13 Jesus is telling about the future to his disciples. About the wars and antichrist etc. In verse 13, he says this: "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." If Jesus says that "he who stands firm to the end will be saved" then it sounds to me that some will not stand firm to the end. Some will abandon or give up on their faith.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Back Home...temporarily

Well, it's been quite the week and a half. Had a worship concert for our entire church last Wednesday night in which I spoke in front of "everybody." Why is it that I get so nervous when I speak in front of adults? Needless to say, I spent a lot of time and energy getting stuff ready for the concert and my message. I got just got back to Harrison from Nashville, TN. I've been at the National Youth Worker's Convention for almost the past week. It was great, I'm sure I'll blog more about it at a later date (I'm too tired too right now), God showed me a lot and spoke to my heart on some issues that have been on my mind the past few months. Also got plenty of resources... can't beat resources! So I'm at home getting laundry done before heading to Northwest Arkansas in the morning to spend the holidays with my wonderful family and take some time to rest from a busy week. I'm really looking forward to seeing family. Being in Harrison and working so much, I feel like I don't get the opportunities to see my family as much as I used to. Oh the drag of growing up. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Church and State

I didn't really know what to title this entry, but anyway. I was reading in my quiet time according to my "bible in a year" schedule and read these three different passages that all gave me comfort to the government/political/and economical state of our country. The fact that I read all three of these on the same day really jumped out at me. 

The first was Romans 13:1-2 - "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."

Then I finished 1 Samuel which is this whole idea that Israel asked for a king so God gave them a king even though it wasn't in there best interest. Then after the spirit of the Lord had departed from King Saul we watch God prepare David to become the new leader. Then we see Saul take his own life at the end of 1 Samuel and David is anointed King over Judah. 

I then finished my quiet time with Psalm 67 - "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him."

As Christians, we are called to submit to the governing authority of our country. And we must trust that God is the one that has placed those people into power (House, Senate, President, governor, whatever). The problem with Christians today is that we expect these governing bodies to lead a Christian nation. We expect them to be an influence and cause our nation to be a moral place. This is the same problem that we see in church goers who look toward the pastor and staff to do all the ministering and outreach. Each one of us must do our part. If we want God to bless our land, our economy, and our country; it isn't done by electing the right government officials. It is done by this repeating verse in Psalm 67 "May the people praise you, O God; may ALL the peoples praise you." Are you praising God today? Everyday? Through your words? Through your actions? And is your praise of God contagious? Are you leading others to a point of praising God? Are you sharing the Gospel with your friends, coworkers, or neighbors? 

"May the peoples praise you, O God; may ALL the peoples praise you. Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear HIM."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Death of a Christian nation?

To put it simply, today has been a busy and seemingly unproductive and all around strange day for a youth pastor that has a fall retreat in about 4 days. I find it ironic that I ran sound for a funeral on this particular election day that could lead to the death of the Christian nation that I grew up loving. For starters, this was the first funeral (of many more to come I'm sure being that I work in a church) that I've been to in nearly 9 months (since Kiley's). Needless to say, last night was full of emotions and concerns knowing that I was going to have to go to this funeral; but being at the funeral wasn't as rough as I was expecting it to be. 

On to politics, which I'm not a particular big fan of in the first place. I did vote today, yay me after skipping my first opportunity, I must say that its quite having your voting spot right outside of your office. However, it did stick out to me that I was attending a funeral in a Christian church on election day. It is 7:55 PM and as I check the polls and see Obama leading McCain 102-34 in the electoral votes (I hate electoral votes when there is that big of a margin and yet McCain actually has more votes), I can't help but worry about the future of our country, especially as a follower of Christ. Continue to pray that God's hand will be upon this election.

I mentioned strange earlier... my pastor came up to me this morning and said that he had given my youth ministry budget proposal to the chair of the finance committee and that they were both so impressed with it (I really shared my vision and reasoning behind each budget item request) that they wanted to share it with the whole church. This whole time, I'm thinking "ummm... ok; who shares a budget proposal with an entire congregation?" But I get back from lunch and go in the office workroom and there is my budget proposal along with a cover letter from the finance committee being put together as a special edition newsletter to be sent to the entire congregation. I am a bit surprised by very encouraged by the fact that my pastor and the chair of the finance committee are so excited about my vision for this ministry that they want to share it with the entire congregation.

Finally, the highlight of my day was the time that I took this afternoon to just escape from the office and go for a bike ride. It was an absolutely beautiful day and I'm glad that I was able to enjoy it while I still can.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Answering the call

Can I just say that I absolutely love Paul's introduction in Romans. It is so powerful and impacting. He pretty much sums up the Christian faith in six verses and immediately challenges his readers to respond to Christ. All these arguments between denominations over doctrine and what not are blown out of the water because THIS is the underlying principal of being a follower of Christ. THIS is all that really matters.

Romans 1:1-6 - 
"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God - the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding the Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ."

Jesus was the promised Messiah that is seen throughout Old Testament prophecy. Christ was fully man, a descendant of David. Christ was fully God and empowered through the Holy Spirit. Christ died AND was resurrected. Through him, we are saved BY grace and are called to share his saving grace with others. And boy am I thankful, as a Gentile, that I am among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. You are too! Christ has called each of us to answer his call, both as Jews and Gentiles. Christ has called you. Have you answered his call? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hmm...

Ok, I really don't have anything special to say. I am still alive for anybody that may have been wondering that. Just real busy. Working on fall carnival, fall retreat, a concert at the church in less than a month, and getting things going for a mission trip to Mexico.

But, to keep some of you all entertained for hours. I decided to share a little secret with you that I stumbled upon/ remembered. You see, apparently I used to have a blog (xanga) but never really thought of it as blogging, probably because all I did was complain about UCA. But I thought I would share it with you since I'm pretty sure nobody knows about it anymore. It's quite funny and please remember that I have matured a little since then and grown a lot spiritually. But, I found it quite humorous to read through, so here ya go, enjoy.


Like I said, the only people that knew about that were friends who had xanga (only about one of which I still talk to today). Have a great day and don't allow yourself to get to busy...like I have. But I know it will all slow down when I head to Nashville around my birthday then Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Crazy? Yea, a little bit





I had the incredible opportunity to go skydiving in Siloam Springs this past weekend with some friends. Let me just say, WOW! It was an absolutely amazing experience that I would love to do over and over again. The experience started with flying up in a tiny plane (with plenty of duct tape to get your heart racing) above the clouds to a total of 9500 ft. Then, as I'm sitting right beside the door (literally my left arm is pressed against it), the door flies open and you look out with wind rushing into your face and think "what in the world am I doing up here." Then the fun part starts, maneuver into position to jump then "ready, set, jump" and your are falling through the air (I reached a top speed of 130 mph). The experience is unlike anything you would ever imagine. As your falling (still above the clouds) and looking down at the ground and across the horizon, it doesn't even feel like your falling. Heights isn't even an issue because you are so high up. Like I sometimes get nervous when I'm going up a shaky extension ladder, but everything was so far away, you don't even feel like you'd ever hit the ground. Falling was such an adrenaline rush. Way more than anything I've ever done before, which things like rock climbing, rappelling, white water rafting, skiing, and a sky swing. Then you pull the chute and feel like you stop (and no, its not painful and doesn't feel like your shooting back in the air). When falling, the wind is crazy loud but once the chute is out, it is so peaceful. No noise whatsoever except for just a touch of wind and the conversation between you and the person your with. At one point we even came to a complete stop and it was dead quiet and such an amazing experience considering the noisy world that we live in today. Then as your floating down back to earth, you look around and see the earth from a whole new perspective. We were right over 412 and looked over at Springdale and Fayetteville. Just looking down and seeing God's creation from a much broader scope. A lake here, a pasture there, JBU over there, cars running around looking like little ants. It was such a glorious experience and time over God telling me "This is what I see." We get so caught up in our minute daily lives, so focused on what is going on in our office or our living room that we don't ever step back and allow God to show us His creation from His point of view. Make an opportunity for yourself to experience God's broader creation rather than being so focused on your personal agenda for the day. Go to the top of a mountain/hill, take a hot air balloon ride, go skydiving, take a hike, whatever; just don't miss out on God's glorious creation because your so focused on man-made things like this computer your looking at right now. 

And don't be overly concerned with playing it safe and keeping yourself out of harms way. God created you with a heart for adventure, I promise. Don't starve your heart of the adventure that it desires. Live a little, do something that scares you. Witness to your neighbor (just talk to your neighbor), go on a mission trip, whatever it is, don't let fear keep you from experiencing life its fullest. I've dislocated my shoulder 7 times in the past 28 months. Does common sense say to quit doing those things that would cause me to dislocate my shoulder again (like playing basketball or going skydiving)? You bet it does, but do I let fear and pain control my life to the point that I am no longer enjoying it and enjoying the pleasures that God has placed in my heart? Nope, I went skydiving just last weekend (a week and a half after dislocating my shoulder), I'm playing basketball tonight (2 weeks after dislocating my shoulder while playing basketball). Live your life, thats what God wants you to do.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sleepy?

So I was reading in Acts today and came across a passage that hadn't ever really grabbed my attention before. Then I started thinking of a good friend of mine who tends to fall asleep everytime he is in church.... sometimes while he's on stage. Haha. 

Acts 20:7-12
  "On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. 'Don't be alarmed,' he said. 'He's alive!' Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted."


So, the next time your having trouble staying awake in church, use this for inspiration to stay awake! Eutychus was lucky enough to have Paul come down and save him even though he fell asleep during his sermon. Your pastor may not be so kind. 

But the reason I think Paul is so eager to restore him to life (even though he fell asleep during his sermon) is because of the boy's heart. The boy wanted to be there, he was exhausted yet he still made the effort the be there to hear God's Word. (And the impact ended up being far greater than he expected when he showed up). How many times do we find ourselves feeling too tired to go to church? So we just lay in bed and skip. God understands that you've had a busy week (and your pastor may understand every once in a while too) but what greater place to find peace and rest than in the presence of God and His people hearing from His Word?

This story also hits home to me personally. I used to be one of the teens that just couldn't stay awake during church. Something about sitting there quiet and still for a very long time (and usually in a church that always felt too warm to me) that really tried to put me down for the count. Now years later (and I still find myself struggling to stay awake occasionally), I find myself in the position of youth pastor teaching students that can't stay awake either. But rather than get frustrated or upset, I am simply glad that they have the desire to be there and know that God is going to speak to them one way or another (I just hope I don't have any students dying during my lessons!)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Behold Behemoth...

Well, I was reading in Job 40 this morning and read about the behemoth and really just decided to try to figure out what exactly the behemoth might be. I remember all too often of hearing people say that dinosaurs appear in Scripture and then citing this "behemoth." So, I decided that I should figure out for sure what I think this animal is and I thought I'd share my opinion with you. Now of course if could be an animal that is now extinct that we don't know anything about, but I'm gonna stick with animals that I actually know about. First off, I'm going to rule out any dinosaurs like an apatosaurus (widely known as a brontosaurus to most people) because I tend to rule out any possibility of dinosaurs with the flood. Maybe I'm wrong on that... but maybe I'll look into it and talk about it another day. So, back to the behemoth. I really believe that God is speaking about a hippo right here, let me explain my reasoning.  Job 40, starting in verse 15.

15Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. Clearly, this animal is an herbivore. 16What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! This is clearly one stout animal, and when you look at the area of the Jordan river, the biggest animals were probably the elephant, hippo, and rhino. Hippos are said to have extremely strong stomach muscles. Just look at the belly on this guy!


 17His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. This is probably one of the most confusing verses... and the one that opens up the widest variety of options and puts into question many others. Some translations will say that tail could possibly mean trunk, which would make an elephant a prime candidate. But many translations say "stiffens" rather than "sways" meaning that his tail is hard like a cedar rather than long (besides I've never really seen a cedar move like an elephant's trunk before). From what I understand, a hippo's tail actually becomes stiff when it becomes frightened or when it is running. And if you look at a hippo's tail (their tails are much thicker than I thought they were; see below) and imagine it being stiff then I could see how it may seem like a cedar.


18His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. 19He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword. 20The hills bring him their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby. 21Under the lotus plant he lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh. 21The lotuses conceal him in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround him. 23When the river rages, he is not alarmed; he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth. Sounds to me like this animal spends a whole lot of time "hidden" in the water. 24Can anyone capture him by the eyes, or trap him and pierce his nose? This animal cannot be captured by somebody because all you see are its eyes and nose above water. This animal is too big to try to drag around by a nose ring. What animal can you think of that stays in the water but all you can see is its eyes and nose? 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

J'eet Yet?

I'm going through David Nasser's bible study "A Call to Die" with my students and what I read today really got me thinking, so I thought I'd share a little.

If you have ever been out to eat with me in public then you know that I have this odd habit/ability/whatever you want to call it to put away sweet tea like nobody's business. On a side note, I do love sweet tea! Just about a week ago, I drank like 8 glasses of sweet tea at a restaurant during lunch....8 glasses! I imagine the waitress thought there was something seriously wrong with me. Needless to say that I spent the rest of the day going to the bathroom. When I was younger, I came to the conclusion that I must have multiple stomachs (like a cow) because it didn't matter how much I ate or how full I was, I always had room for more to drink (usually sweet tea) and dessert. So back to sweet tea, pretty much the most amazing thing available to drink in the whole world. As I sit somewhere and drink sweet tea, it is so satisfying and refreshing, yet I continue to want more. 

Matthew 5:6 says: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." In his bible study, Nasser says, "It is a spiritual paradox that when we are thirsty for God and we drink, he satisfies us and yet leaves us thirsting for him even more. When we are hungry for God and eat his nourishing word, we are refreshingly satisfied and yet we are hungry for much more." I have discovered this to be so true the past couple months. As I continue to seek God and spend time in Scripture, I am filled and find satisfaction but my hunger only grows. As I spend time in Scripture and alone with God, my desire for that time continues to grow as well. I want to challenge you to find ways to satisfy that thirst and hunger that you have for God so that He will continue to grow your hunger for him.

Monday, October 6, 2008

PB &...... S....?

So I had some peanut butter and syrup sandwiches last night after church for dinner. Why, you may ask... Why syrup? Why blog about it? You see, my mom got me hooked on peanut butter and syrup (which is way better than peanut butter and jelly) many many years ago. It got to the point that she would ask each of us on Sunday night what we wanted for dinner (the options were usually leftovers from lunch or some sort of sandwich) and I would ALWAYS answered Peanut butter and syrup.... "w/ love." You see, my mom made them so much better than anybody else because she made them with love. She would explain to me that it was easy to do and that I should just make my own; but I would argue that I NEVER made it as good as she did b/c it wasn't made with love when I made it. So last night, I got home from church and decided to have PB & S in memory of my old Sunday night tradition, but guess what. It just wasn't as good. My theory still holds true that mom's cooking, even if its just a sandwich, will always be better than my own because she always adds that one special ingredient.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ADD Encouragement

So, in my continual increase with this inability to keep my attention focused on something, I have read a passage of Scripture that has really spoken to me and provided encouragement that I can still be effective even if I chase a few rabbit trails while I'm teaching.

Ephesians 3:1-15 - 

1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles--
2Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation; as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was to me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

...14For this reason I kneel before the father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

Did you see Paul's ADD moment? The rabbit trail? Paul opens chapter 3 to pray for the Ephesians but then "gets distracted." You don't know how many times I wander off and talk about stuff that doesn't have anything to do with my "planned" lesson. But maybe it's stuff that the Holy Spirit actually lays on my heart right then and there because it is what my students need to hear before hearing the rest of my "planned" lesson.

The Ephesians needed to hear Paul's "rabbit trail" right then and there to prevent alot of future confusion and discouragement. Paul calls himself "the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles." Paul is actually in prison when he is writing this letter to the Ephesians and he basically says "I'm in jail for Jesus because of you Gentiles." If you look at Acts 22:21-22 then you actually realize that he is in prison because of the Gentiles. He is sharing with the Jews in Jerusalem about his Damascus road experience and says "Then the Lord said to me, 'Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.' The crowd listened to Paul UNTIL he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, 'Rid the earth of him! He's not fit to live!'" Then they through him in prison and he starts writing letters. The Jews had no problem with the Gospel, it was the fact that Paul was gonna share with Gentiles that got them all stirred up. Now back to Ephesians, Paul begins this rabbit trail to comfort the Gentile Ephesians so they aren't discouraged and feel like it's all their fault that Paul is in prison. He begins to explain to them the mystery, his purpose that was given to him from God to share the Gospel to all the world. He encourages these believers to be confident and not discouraged because of his sufferings b/c it is all part of God's plan. So he breaks up his prayer mid-sentence to explain God's plan, then resumes his prayer in verse 14. (Notice verse 1 and 14 both start "For this reason I") 

Anyway, just a random thing that jumped out at me while reading Scripture. And some comfort for me and maybe some others as we teach Scripture or share our faith or whatever that it is sometimes ok to have an ADD moment and chase a rabbit trail. Maybe the person your talking to really needs to hear something that has nothing to do with your "planned out" talk. 

Monday, September 29, 2008

Camp War Eagle

I spent the past weekend helping Eagle Heights with their fall retreat at Camp War Eagle. I spent the weekend as a small group leader, sound/video guy, setup and tear down, etc. Great weekend in ministry full of great opportunities to catch up and visit with old friends. Camp War Eagle has a few memories for me, both good and bad. I worked there 3 summers ago. Met alot of great friends, ministered to some great kids, and had some frustrations along the way. It was the cause of my 1st shoulder dislocation. Now that I've had 6, I really wish that that first one wouldn't have ever happened. God showed me a lot about ministry, mainly the importance of long-term discipleship compared to the camp "bring 'em in, ship em' out." 

This year had a bit of a personal aspect that I wasn't really expecting or ready for. Last year, while interning for Eagle Heights, we had our fall retreat at War Eagle. I talked Kiley into being a small group leader for us. I think it was the first time that I had ever done ministry with Kiley. She did an incredible job and had an incredible impact on the lives of her students and I felt that we grew closer as brother and sister than we ever had before. I was looking forward to many more years of having her help in ministry whenever I needed it. So, needless to say, I missed not having her bouncing around this weekend giving me a boost from her off the wall energy. (I tend to stay up way later and wake up way earlier at these retreats and could've used somebody to add to my energy level). I love you Kiley and miss you daily.



Thursday, September 18, 2008

Refocusing

God has really caused me to rethink my "ideal" youth ministry since coming to Harrison. I believe the icing on the cake came last night. So often in youth ministry (any ministry, church, or anything really) we get so focused on our programs, camps, retreats, mission trips, etc that we lose sight of our primary objective. We get so consumed with putting on a good "show" with high energy games, funny, high-quality videos, worship, and lessons that we don't leave time for what really matters. On Monday, I met with a guy in my youth group after school for a bible study. We spent like an hour and a half going through Ephesians 1 (that's only 23 verses) and just talking about life and ministry. I go to the school lunches pretty regular during the week, I'm fixing to make my 3rd trip this week, but haven't ever really thought about impact that sitting at a lunch table with a kid can really have. It's always just kinda been, show up, hang out, and leave as kind of a routine scheduled part of my day. But I realized just how valuable that time can truly be last night. Yesterday while at lunch, I sat with one of my students that was sitting alone outside. I didn't really think anything about it, but last night his mom came up and thanked me because I sat with him. I probably sat with him a total of 10 minutes, but it was the highlight of his day. Often times, we don't really just how impacting a relationship can be, whether we are in "professional ministry" or not. 

My challenge for those in ministry is to not lose sight of what matters most. Don't get so busy planning and organizing that you neglect spending time with students. Christ didn't lock himself up in an office planning out his next big event, trying to figure out a video to go with his lesson, or a great game to kick things off. He walked beside his disciples, lived life with them, teaching them as they walked side-by-side while reaching out to those that were lost. He went to those in need rather than staying in one spot waiting for them to show up to his program. There was nothing organized about his ministry, just discipling those that were walking with him and teaching the gospel to those that hadn't yet chosen to follow. My youth ministry vision once involved high energy games, funny videos, incredible worship services, and powerful messages. (not that there is anything wrong with those things, as long as we don't lose focus of what does really matter) Now it has shifted to personal, meaningful relationships and challenging students with Scripture. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Well...

...I was reading in Acts this morning and had another one of those "why in the world are we not committed enough to do that today" moments.  

Acts 7:54-8:1 - "When they heard this (this being Stephen's statement that they had persecuted the prophets then persecuted the Righteous One that had been predicted to come), they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he said this, he fell asleep. And Saul was there, giving approval to his death."

Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit, we are called to continuously be filled with the Holy Spirit to the point that we are overflowing. Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit and look at what he experienced! He looked up to heaven "and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God." If that doesn't get you fired up to be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit, nothing will. So, he begins to tell these people who are ticked off at him about his Kingdom experience and they cover their ears and yell at the top of their voices.  Haha, I just get this mental image of a little kid (or probably me last week) putting their hands over their ears and screaming "la la la la la" whenever somebody is trying to tell them something they don't want to hear. Ever done that, I have. Then they drag him off and stone him to death. I don't know about you, but I have never been stoned for being a believer. I have, however, experienced numerous times when I've tried to witness and whoever I was trying to witness to simply did not want to hear what I had to say. Usually when we try to witness but people just ignore us, we get discouraged and give up. Stephen kept sharing to the point that the only way they were gonna shut him up was to stone him to death. As he is dying he says "Lord, do not hold this sin against them" and died. Sound like anybody else that died in the New Testament? (Jesus' crucifixion) And it makes perfect sense that it does. We are called to live a Christ-like life and that includes a Christ-like death. Jesus didn't quit preaching of His coming kingdom when people didn't want to hear it; Stephen, being the Christ-follower that we should all be striving to become, didn't quit preaching of Christ's Kingdom either. He lived a life of Christ and died the death of Christ. How much living and dying for Christ are we willing to do in our comfortable "Christian" society? 

A key part of this passage is the last verse "And Saul was there, giving approval to his death." This is the same Saul that becomes Paul, an apostle of Jesus, in just the next chapter. You think maybe Stephen's death and willingness to die for Christ might have made a major impact on Saul? The same Saul who became Paul, the world's greatest missionary. Even if somebody may oppose you now to your face, may later turn to Christ because of the impression that you left and how you responded (either out of commitment or giving up in disappointment).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Whoo!

Ok, so yea wow busy. Thats one way to put it. Since my last post, which was Wednesday morning, I have been a little occupied. We were supposed to start a bible study Wednesday night, but my books didn't come in so I spent Wednesday afternoon preparing a lesson for that night as an introduction of the theme of the bible study. (more on that another time). Then we had bible study and I ended up getting home around 8 or 9. We were supposed to start playing our "friendly after church basketball league" at 8 that night but it was decided to wait a few more weeks b/f we got that up and running. Needless to say I was extremely disappointed since I've been anxiously awaiting the start of that for the past like month. Just have to wait a few more weeks I guess. Thursday, I spent the morning working on my lesson for tonight, went to the junior high lunch, then went to the high school tennis match at 3:30, then 9th grade volleyball, 8th grade football, and finally 9th grade football. For some reason the football games took forever and that last one wasn't over with until 10. Afterwards, I got a call to help some people with video stuff for a retreat that I was helped with over the weekend. Got home around 1:30 AM and was in the office Friday morning to finish the video stuff. So, this camp was a 4th, 5th, and 6th grade retreat put on by Eagle Heights and I was easily persuaded to lend a helping hand. Friday afternoon after finishing the videos, I packed up all the sound and video stuff that I needed as well as a bunch of rec stuff and headed to Drasco, AR to start setting up with Miranda. The camp went great, especially for a bunch of young kids that had never really done anything like that before. Watching these young students worship was completely different than high school students and especially adults. Needless to say, I was very impressed. Had a great weekend, except for the technological headaches that were caused by certain pieces of equipment. Dwain, the worship leader for the weekend, and myself had a great time just wandering around and talking about ministry and life, picking on kids, and goofing off; usually if you see us together, we are probably laughing. Good week/weekend, extremely busy. Now its time for Sunday night Youth. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Call to Missions

I was reading in Acts yesterday and a passage really jumped out at me. I've always heard Acts 2:4 as a verse used to validate speaking in tongues. "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." I have always heard those that support speaking in tongues use this verse not only to validate themselves but often times to set themselves on a spiritual pedestal as if they are more filled with the Holy Spirit then other believers, even to the point of saying that someone doesn't have the Holy Spirit if they don't speak in tongues.  After reading this passage (in context) yesterday, I really think that this is more of an eye-opening passage toward God's heart for missions and preaching the Gospel throughout the world. Acts 2:1-12: "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (or languages) as the Spirit enabled them. Now they were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: 'Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phyrgia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs - we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues (or languages)!' Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, 'What does this mean?'"

Those that were filled didn't just start speaking in tongues that nobody understood or that needed a translator. They started speaking in different languages "as the Spirit enabled them." People from all over the nation who all spoke different languages heard this and came (probably saying "Wow, what in the world is going on and why are these Galileans speaking my native language?"). They asked "What does this mean?" (You may be asking the same thing) This means that God has a heart and passion for the Gospel to be shared throughout the world in every language. They were able to speak the different languages "as the Spirit enabled them," they each spoke different languages as God prepared them and called them.  God is calling you to share His Gospel somewhere in this world. Are you willing to listen to and obey that calling? Or are you still doing everything in your power to ignore it? Are you making excuses like "I don't know other languages, or I don't have time or energy or resources or the courage?" God will equip you, it's just a matter of you bowing down the King of kings and obeying his call. Your mission may be here in the US, at your work, across the street, in your classroom, at the restaurant, I don't know. I feel confident that my current mission field is among youth, but our mission field is so much bigger than that. What about my neighbors at my apartment? What about the person who sits next to you in class? What if God really is calling you to learn another language or culture? 

I've been talking to a friend who has an absolute love for India and she has been telling me about all the persecution of Christians that has been going on over there. Like 4,000 homes and 100 churches have been burned. Christians dying for their faith everyday. My heart breaks for our brothers and sisters in Christ, yet even more so, my heart breaks because of the apathy of Christians here in the US. John 15:20 says, "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also..." If we are truly living a life sold out to Christ then we should be suffering! We are so comfortable and so ineffective that Satan doesn't have to worry about attacking us in order to slow down the spread of the Gospel. Satan loves when a Christian abandons his faith more than anything, but a close second would have to be a Christian that poses no threat to Satan's worldly kingdom. 

I kidnapped a few things from my friends blog for that last paragraph. (Miranda, I hope you don't mind). But I do want to encourage you to read her blog. God has definitely used her to open my eyes to missions and I think she'll have the same effect on you. You can check out her blog at http://agirlinlovewithindia.blogspot.com or follow the link in my bloggers anonymous area. 

Alright, I've gotta get back to the daily grind.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Variety Post

So, apparently its been a while since I last posted.  This has come to my attention from a number of people calling, emailing, etc.  My excuse for not posting is simple, and I'm pretty sure I explained a while back how I started a blog at the worst time in the youth ministry year, I've been a little on the busy side. And when I haven't been busy, I haven't felt like blogging. (And if you say, it doesn't take that much time to post.... for some reason it usually takes me like an hour, yea my mind works slow and takes a while to process thoughts into words which is why I was always writing papers into the wee hours of the night in college... that and procrastination, but anyway). So this is going to be a variety post in a sense ranging from what I've been doing to what I've been learning and maybe a bit of randomness in between.

School is underway, which means that ministry has changed from being spur of the moment to being much more scheduled and organized (and if you know me, then you know I'm not the best at being scheduled and organized).  With school comes sports, and in ministry terms means going to the school and sports events (which I absolutely love by the way).  For example, last Thursday I went to the junior lunch, was there from 11-12:30, then went to the 8th grade football game @ 5:30, then went to the 9th grade volleyball game as soon as the football game was over (shout out to my girl Kelsey who is an absolute stud on the volleyball court), then went to the 9th grade football game as soon as the volleyball game was over (another shout out to my boys Kyle and Craig who tore Huntsville up). More school lunches and games this week, woohoo!

So people in Harrison are beginning to discover my gifts and passion for technology, electronics, etc.  Needless to say, they are truly discovering that I am a blessing to the town as more than just a youth pastor.  Jack at Eagle Heights of course knows about my abilities and has been more than eager to put them to good use.  Greg, our director of family ministries has been very observant of me and how I've used those gifts in my youth ministry and has been excited to put them to use for the church as a whole.  We had a staff meeting yesterday and were talking about the possibility of adding lights to our chapel for a Sunday school class that meets in there.  I was doing my best not to say much, then Greg decided to announce my knowledge and that I look at it and give my "expert" opinion. (expert...haha) It then came to my attention that I was needed to run sound at some point in the future for our traditional service. I also have a number of electronics that are slightly messed up waiting on my attention to take apart and try to fix when I have time.  My couches look like a waiting room with patients waiting to see me. I guess my passion for taking electronics apart in order to fix them started at a young age. I remember once when I had a super nintendo I believe.  This was back when the power supply was a box that plugged directly into the wall.  Well, my super nintendo wasn't working right and I came to the conclusion that it was something wrong inside of the box plugged into the wall. Being the very young kid that wanted to fix stuff that I was, I began to take the box apart to fix the problem. The one thing that I hadn't figured out at that point was that you should unplug the box b/f taking it apart... oops!  Needless to say there was a little spark and a little talking to from dad after that one, BUT I did fix the problem! And now I unplug things b/f going to work on them. 

So, I read something today that really grabbed my attention about what I talked about the other day on the issue of eternal security. Deuteronomy 13:1-4 - "If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes places, and he says, 'Let us follow other gods' (gods you have not known) 'and let us worship them,' you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.  It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere.  Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him." Again, I don't believe that we can lose our salvation, but I do believe that we can abandon it. Why would God test us if it wasn't possible for us to "fail the test." He allowed Job to be tested to prove his love for God.  He allowed Judas to be tested, Judas abandoned his faith, "Satan entered Judas," he failed the test. 

I had more that I was gonna talk about, but I think I'll save them for another time. This went longer then I expected. Hopefully I can remember what I was gonna talk about long enough to write about it next time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Friend or Fan?

Why is it that rainy days make me so tired and unproductive? I mean seriously. Here I am sitting in my office not able to focus on anything, therefore being VERY unproductive (and I don't even have a window in my office... maybe I need one). I'm working on the school year youth calendar, but being very indecisive. Bad combination. Aye aye aye!

In other news, I've been wanting to post something about what I talked about at youth a couple weeks ago, but I couldn't ever find the video that I wanted to go with it. I don't know if you've seen any of the ESPN Radio TV commercials, but they are great and this is one of them. It's not the one that first came to my mind, but it's the only one I could find and it definitely gets my point across.

Friend or Fan?

video

Matthew 7:21-23: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you, Away from me, you evildoers!"

I read this passage and can't help but think of sports fans. I think of a Razorback fan who feels that Darren McFadden is the greatest Razorback football player ever. (I'm not saying he's not, just providing an example). Well this DMac fan goes around the country talking him up and telling everybody how good he is and is gonna be in the NFL etc. Goes to all of his games. He wears his jersey to games, to the mall, to work, shoot even to church. This fan has all of his trading cards, posters, autographed footballs, the works. He IS DMac's biggest fan. One day, he sees Darren McFadden and goes up to him talking to him like they've known each other for years, right? The only problem is that DMac has never met this person in his life. This person may be DMac's biggest fan, but he's not his friend. As much as he talks about DMac and brags about him to others, there is no relationship there.

I often times see this in "Christians" too. We walk around telling everybody that we see how great Jesus is and how happy we're gonna be in heaven with Him. Go to all his games (church). Wear his "jersey" (christian apparel and the Bible) to games (church), the mall, work, shoot even to real games (ever seen the "John 3:16" signs at a football game?) Has all of his "trading cards and souvenirs." Shoot, even I have a "dancing dashboard Jesus." But then, someday we'll actually meet Jesus and start talking to him like we've known him for a long time. The only problem is that Jesus has never met this person... ever! This "christian" may be Jesus' biggest fan, but he's not his friend. As much as he talks about DMac and brags about him to others, there is no relationship there.

Jesus is pretty blunt in saying that it doesn't matter if you cheer for him on the sidelines. He wants a relationship with you, if you don't have that he will tell you plainly: "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"

Are you a fan of Jesus or a friend of Jesus?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day... The most relaxing day of the year?

So after working in ministry for a few years now, I think that Labor Day may be the most relaxing holiday for somebody in youth ministry.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, Mother's Day & Father's Day (both on Sundays), New Year's, and even Halloween are all surrounded and filled with special programs and/or events with either the church or youth ministry.... or both. But I would have to say that Labor Day is great!  The offices are closed, old friends are off work and able to come "back home," just great.  

Needless to say, I had a good Labor Day. Got to Springdale a little after 11.  Visited with mom and Mini, discussed some theological issues, and helped Mini with some more stuff with her Mac.  Then ate mexican with mom, dad, and Mini; it wasn't Salsa's, but we had a great time!  Then drove over to Siloam to meet up with my old roommate Matt and some other old JBU friends.  Hung out for a while, went to our old professor/advisors house and visited with him, ate at Zaxby's (pretty good by the way), then played sand volleyball with a bunch of old JBU friends.  We had a blast, wore ourselves out, and was covered with sand by the end of the night.  I am so thankful for my friends and family and the blessing that they have all been on my life.  And the opportunity to spend a day relaxing and visiting with them was greatly appreciated.  I hope you had a good Labor Day too!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Going Deeper...Oh dear

Ok, so here we go...

The past month, I have really had the doctrine of eternal security on my mind.  Growing up in a Baptist church, I was always told "once saved, always saved" and that if a person did something or didn't go to heaven or whatever then they were never saved in the first place.  (Who are we to judge?)  This idea is primarily supported by 1 John 2:19: "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us.  For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us." I have been working in a methodist church for three months now and (from what I have gathered) they believe that salvation can possibly, in extreme cases, be lost.  One verse that supports this view is Hebrews 10:26: "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins."  I do believe that many Methodist churches may not even share these same beliefs, but that the "common knowledge" belief of methodists goes against eternal security.

Needless to say, I've really been challenged to look to Scripture and really strive to discover for myself my own beliefs and conclusion about eternal security.  Simply put, another step toward making my faith my own.  So, here is a brief look at what I have concluded so far, I am still doing plenty of seeking and questioning; but my "view" really makes sense to me right now.  I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about it and told her my perspective.  I was told that it was a very unique view that they had never heard before, but it really makes sense.

The biggest verse that caused me to question my belief in "once saved, always saved" is Hebrews 6:4-6: "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace."

"who have been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age." In my opinion, these people have been saved.  I think it eliminates the argument "well they were never saved in the first place."  They have clearly "shared in the Holy Spirit."  It's saying that it is impossible for these people, who have been saved, if they fall away to be brought back to repentance. The key word here for me is repentance rather than say salvation. I don't see them as losing their salvation, but rather putting an end to their repentance and turning their back on their salvation.

I believe that when we are saved, we are saved and God will not let us go because of our sins.  John 10:26-30: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand."  When we are saved and continue to follow Christ, "my sheep listen to my voice" "and they follow me," God will not let them go.  But God does allow free will.  No one can snatch us out of His hand, but we do have the opportunity to "stop listening and following" and basically ask/force God to let us go.  I think the only way we can do this is by turning our back on the Holy Spirit, "the unpardonable sin."  Matthew 12:31-32: "And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.  Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." Before coming to salvation, somebody can speak against Jesus and still later find salvation (think Saul/Paul), but after salvation, if they blaspheme the Holy Spirit, they "will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."  I know people who once called themselves Christians (again their salvation is not for me to judge) but after a tragedy or realizing historical truths that "prove" Christianity wrong have abandoned their faith and spoke against the Holy Spirit.

I think of Judas.  The man followed Jesus daily, how could he have not been a "Christian?"  But he later abandoned Christ and was filled with Satan.  

I simply can't believe a complete doctrine of "Once saved, always saved" because I believe that a person who has experienced salvation can fall away, blaspheme the Holy Spirit and completely abandon God.  God allows it because he is a God of free will.  Nothing can snatch us out his hand.  But just as he allows us to freely come to him (rather than forcing us), he just as much allows us to freely get out of His hand and walk away.  If you do blaspheme the Holy Spirit, then you have walked away and abandoned God.  However, comfort can be found in knowing that as long as I am following Christ and haven't abandoned my faith, then eternal security can be found no matter what sin I commit. 

There ya go, deep... at least for me.  And definitely different, but its whats been on my mind, so I thought I'd see if any of you had any input or personal beliefs to chime in with. And if you haven't challenged yourself to challenge doctrinal beliefs that you've been spoonfed your whole life, then I encourage you to do so in order to make your faith your own.

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's that time of the year...

Well, I probably started a blog at the worst possible time for a youth pastor to start a blog....the fall.  Needless to say, I've been a lotta bit busy this week.  Worked with Eagle Heights to put on a big outreach event Wednesday night.  David Nasser spoke and the Steve Fee band led worship.  It was a great night with a number of decisions made.  I was in charge of all the video/ computer/ projector/ visual aspects. (big surprise huh?)  So, I worked from 9 AM til 2 or 3 AM working on stuff Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Thursday, worked on stuff for Sunday.  Thursday afternoon, pointless orthodontist appointment in Springdale, but I did get to see my family, eat a home cooked meal, and teach Mini about her new Mac.  Woohoo, yay for macs!!  Today, more Sunday preparation.

But here's the exciting thing about this time of year.  FOOTBALL.  Yup, Harrison opens up tonight against Batesville.  Arkansas plays Western Illinois tomorrow.  Friday night lights, College Football Saturdays, and the NFL starts next week.  I'm pumped!

To be a substitute teacher, I have to to go to some training thing.  It is tomorrow morning from 8-12.  I don't even want to think about getting up b/f 8 ever, especially on a Saturday.  I prefer to sleep from 2-8:30, and I simply can't go to sleep much earlier than that.  

So yea, random post.  I've got some deep stuff that I'm gonna write about, but I'm trying to find something before I do.  Be prepared.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Day of Birth


Happy Birthday Mom.  You have been an incredible encouragement to me as I pursue God's calling on my life. I am so blessed to have the privilege of calling you Mom. I hope today is a great day.  Love you!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Da Beach






I got to go to the beach with my mom and Amelia this past week. (They needed a chauffeur, hehe)  We had a great time, although they act like I didn't cause I didn't spend every minute on the actual beach.  I came to the realization that people relax and vacation very differently for sure.  Mom and Mini can lay on the beach and bake all day every day for the rest of their lives and be perfectly happy.  Me... I need action, I need to drive places, do things, see different things.  I like the beach and laying there for a little while, but after too long my ADD starts seriously kicking my butt.  Thanks Mini and Mom for allowing me join you and getting to just slow down from a very busy lifestyle.

Hmm

Well... Becke told me I should get a blog.  And quite frankly I could only think of about 537 things that I would rather do than blog, but I decided to do it anyway.  Hopefully I'll be a little bit decent and consistent at posting random thoughts.  And I have no doubt that there be some randomness involved.  Just remember that encouragement (comments or "kudos") is the most effective way to inspire me to post.  

Becke, I got a blog.  Now I guess you have to hold up your end of the bargain and get facebook.