Monday, May 10, 2010

Distractions...

So, let's see if I can remember how to do this after like a 4 month hiatus...

I've been extremely busy with "work" which is actually the reason I've been inspired to blog.

Last night, I was teaching my youth on developing a care for the poor and oppressed, THEN actually doing something about it and I challenged them that many of them may be called to actually go into missions or ministry, and it may be in areas that don't want to be. We then talked about the rich young ruler as an example...

Luke 18:18-23: "A ruler asked Him, 'Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 'Why do you call me good?' Jesus asked him. 'No one is good but One -- God. You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother.' 'I have kept all these from my youth,' he said. When Jesus heard this, He told him, 'You still lack one thing: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.' After he heard this, he became extremely sad, because he was very rich."

Each of us is called to full-time ministry. We may not get paid for it and we may not travel overseas for it, but we are all called to give up EVERYTHING, all that we have, especially that which is most important to us (for the rich young ruler, it was his possessions, others may be a relationship, hobby, well-paying job, or pride) and follow Jesus. I challenged my students with this question: "What keeps you from following God." What holds you back? What are you so holding on to? What is distracting you?

This morning as I was laying in bed, I was thinking about that question in my own life. And felt this burden of what has been keeping me from following God. Why I haven't felt as close to my Lord and Savior over the past few months like I was feeling a year ago. You may or may not be thinking: "you work at a church, how could you not be following God?" (I know that was the thought that kept running through my head). But, as weird as this may sound, I honestly feel like that has also been my problem. I "work" at a church and me following Christ has become more of a job than a relationship. I'm so busy and caught up in working for God that it has become a barrier in my personal walk with Christ.

You see, these last few months have gotten ridiculously crazy for me. I currently lead worship in our contemporary service, I preach about every other week in the contemporary service, plan all the contemporary services, run anything and everything technological at the church, do a lot of other things at the church, and occasionally squeeze youth ministry (which is my actual job that I used to spend 50+ hours a week on) into my weekly schedule. I feel like I have so much to do that I'm using all my energy to stay afloat, to keep my head above water, that I'm not moving forward in any way in anything. And time seems to be FLYING by. I was telling a friend the other day that a month ago only feels like a week ago to me anymore. I realize that I haven't talked to friends in probably months, but it only feels like a week or two. Hadn't seen family in probably a month when it only felt like a week. My time is all messed up!

You remember the sisters in the bible, Mary and Martha, the friends of Jesus. One night they invited Jesus over for dinner, and Martha was running around in a frenzy trying to make sure everything was perfect because the Son of God was in her house, but Mary just sat at Jesus' feet conversing with God's Son. And Martha was pretty ticket about the whole thing. She was mad at Mary and I think she was really mad at Jesus because Jesus wasn't setting it straight. He wasn't looking out to meet her needs there, and so she comes to Jesus and look what she says in Luke 10, "Martha was distracted by her many tasks: So she came to Him and asked, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me.' But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things: but there is need of only one thing and Mary has chosen the better part...'"

Sometimes we make it too complicated. We get so busy building into the lives of everyone else that we forget about ourself. We need to meet our needs. We need to spend time with God. We need to spend time with others in fellowship and growing together in the Lord. I know I need an intervention, I need to find others that I can spend time in fellowship with (my age).

So....What keeps you from following God?!?!

Friday, January 22, 2010

To Save A Life

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Do me a favor. Go see the movie "To Save a Life" this weekend. Encourage people you know to see it. Take people with you to see it!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Top 15 Biblical Ways to Acquire a Wife

So, the children's director that I work with gave me this list this afternoon. I found it pretty funny, especially considering the hard time that his daughter gives me about being single and having no life.

The Top 15 Biblical Ways to Acquire a Wife:

1. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she's yours. (Deuteronomy 21:11-13)

2. Find a prostitute and marry her. (Hosea 1:1-3)

3. Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock. (Moses-Exodus 2:16-21)

4. Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. (Boaz-Ruth 4:5-10)

5. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. (Benjaminites-Judges 21:19-25)

6. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you. (Adam-Genesis 2:19-24)

7. Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That's right, fourteen years of toil for a wife. (Jacob-Genesis 29:15-30)

8. Cut 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law's enemies and get his daughter for a wife. (David-1 Samuel 18:27)

9. Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you'll definitely find someone. (It's all relative, of course.) (Cain?-Genesis 4:16-17)

10. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. (Xerxes or Ahasuerus-Esther 2:3-4)

11. When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, "I have seen a ... woman; now get her for me." If your parents question your decision, simply say, "Get her for me. She's the one for me." (Samson-Judges 14:1-3)

12. Kill any husband and take HIS wife (prepare to lose four sons, though). (David-2 Samuel 11)

13. Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It's not just a good idea; it's the law.) (Onana and Boaz-Deuteronomy or Leviticus, example in Ruth)

14. Don't be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity. (Solomon-1 Kings 11:1-3)

15. A wife? ....NOT? (Paul-1 Corinthians 7:32-35)

Personally.... #10 sounds like a pretty good deal to me. It reminds me of "The Bachelor."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Snow Day!!

So, it snowed a great deal here in Harrison, AR starting Saturday night. It was beautiful and a great way of finishing up students' Christmas break...by giving them a couple more days off! I got to spend yesterday afternoon with a bunch of students playing in the snow and had a blast. Sledding, failed attempts at starting snowball fights (the snow just wouldn't pack), and I even finally got an opportunity to get my 4-wheeler out and have some fun pulling people on sleds. To finish off the day, we built a ramp (which was very difficult b/c of the poor packing quality of the snow) and Kaleb went off it behind the 4 wheeler. The video is below.

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It's the opportunities to hang out with students outside of church and build relationships and share Christ's love with them that keeps me in youth ministry, its the only reason I put up with the church politics and meetings that are always trying to consume my time and attention.

And the icing on the cake... getting a text last night from a student last night. After texting me saying that the day was fun and us having some laughs about the day, she says this.

Student: "Can I be serious with ya for a sec..."
Me: "Definitely"
Student: "I am really glad a youth director like you came along..."

These are the moments that help me brush off all the frustrations that I face in both student and church ministry as a whole and re-energize me to keep serving Christ to the best of my knowledge and ability.