Friday, October 28, 2005

a blank slate...

I haven't posted in a few days....so much is rumaging around in my head...it just isn't in dumping form yet...some of it has to do with Jesus and leadership, and fish, and lots of people...but anyway in the meantime my wonderful and insiteful wife has some good thoughts here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Uninterrupted prosperity

Sometimes to start my time with the Lord I read from an online devotional that is a collection of writings by Charles Spurgeon. This morning he said something that challenged me...

To be left uncorrected would be a fatal sign: it would prove that the Lord had said, "He is given unto idols, let him alone." God grant that such may never be our portion! Uninterrupted prosperity is a thing to cause fear and trembling. As many as God tenderly loves He rebukes and chastens: those for whom He has no esteem He allows to fatten themselves without fear, like bullocks for the slaughter. It is in love that our heavenly Father uses the rod upon His children.

- Charles Spurgeon


Uninterrupted prosperity...so often I think this is the secret desire of my heart...I say out loud that I want God to shape and mold me, but secretly I yearn for something different...maybe this is a hope for eternity, which would be more righteous, but if I'm honest I think it is a desire for there never to be any struggle. How challenging though to hear that experiencing the continual lack of struggle or correction this side of heaven would be evidence of the lack of God's hand on my life. He is a good Father...He shapes and molds His children. I think if we are honest that's a hard thing to actually desire. That's my prayer today...that I would recognize God's hand in my struggles, that I would rejoice in His involvement, and that I wouldn't yearn for the things that are evidence of His departure...


Monday, October 17, 2005

The band....

Here are a few shots of the band practicing in my basement....such great guys...I'm really excited because for some of them, this their first time back in a church, and somewhere that they can be discipled in a long time. God has big plans for their lives!!


my wife snuck a close up of me...


working hard in the basement...every great band has humble beginnings. :-)


percussion section

Portable Church Thoughts

We had our final meeting with Don from portable church this morning. Check out what Ben had to say about it all, but here are my thoughts. We had to pay this guy some decent money to come out, and I wondered a bit if it would truly be worth it, regardless of what if we proceeded with the purchase.

I was pleasantly surprised...the amount of work this guy did in the two days he was here was amazing. He now knows more about our facility than we do. He was talking about parts of the facility like it was his own house. And in our meeting today he produced detail schematics, and possible layouts all drawn to scale....pretty great. More than that though, he had great suggestions about how we could proceed that pushed us to think outside the box that we were in.

I was especially excited when he started talking about the options we have for our live sound, and his recommendations for that. He is an experienced sound engineer and really knows how to speak a musicians language, so each of his recommendations were music to my ears! Though the price tags that he gave us may cause us to proceed slower than my dreams would like...but it was still great to dream a bit, and it was really helpful to explore what was possible and what is really possible for our situation.

Great things are in store!

u2 this week

Can't say I'm excited to go, because alas I won't be attending. :-( I had the opportunity to go, but thursday is my wife's birthday. She is more important to me than u2. She's way cuter that bono. So instead of u2 I will rock out with the worship band, and then take my wife to an apple orchard on Friday. Fewer pyrotechnics, and less graphics...but still an easy choice for me. :-)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

My daughter Hope is ready to join the worship team!

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Informationful?

I walked into our local Christian bookstore the other day to purchase the new Crowder CD (incredible, by the way!) and as I was looking at the new release shelf I realized that I was behind in procuring the latest and the greatest...there were at least three other cd's that I had to have...

Then I walked over to the book section...don't really need to say much about that other than its just a game you can't win! I thought about the stack that I have at home, and then just stared at the nuggets of information just sitting there waiting for me to unlock, so that I can be a better person, pastor, leader, Christian...

Ok, it was a bit overwhelming...do you ever feel like you can't keep up with the constant and overwhelming flow of information? We really are in the information age. I think the challenge in that is not to see it as a race, but a journey. Not a competition, but a privilege. And then...here's the kicker for me...we need to not just be informationful...but rather thoughtful. Sometimes I find myself worrying about getting enough read, practice or listened to, that I am going to fast to stop...think...and most important...to listen to the creator of all that stuff.

So I am working on being thoughtful...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Iraq

My friend Ginny has some interesting perspectives on Iraq here. It is amazing that she is on the ground there and seeing what is really happening. First hand perspective in anything makes a huge difference, but I can't imagine the impact in such an intense situation.

Pray for her...

Seeing Results Already

Ben had some great thoughts on the speakers from Catalyst. My thoughts will be a bit more brief. I loved them...I liked Louie Giglio a bit more than the rest of the team, but I think that was more personality driven than anything. I loved Don Miller...his talk was right out of Blue Like Jazz, but I was again struck by his uncanny way of inspiring me to love other people as Christ does. He challenges people to make friends with people...simple...I complicate things so often...just make friends...I can do that.

The biggest thing that has resonated for me was what happened in our leaders. Its hard to express, but as I interacted with them this Sunday there was a marked change. There was a sense of cohesiveness, and momentum, and unity that was amplified since this trip. We brought another guy that we are hoping to bring onto the leadership team, and I noticed the difference in him especially. His proactiveness in prayer and in involvement Sunday morning and at our small group was awesome. Such a great reminder that there is nothing so valuable to building and solidifying a team as getting away together...having a common goal to achieve away from things that are familiar.

I think my dad new this principle when I was preparing to get married. He really encouraged Tricia and I to go somewhere unfamiliar for our Honeymoon, because the sense of unfamiliarity would cause us to look to one another for support. What an amazingly simple, but affective principle. We are seeing that played out right now at History.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Sometimes my face does crazy things...

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Checkin' in from Catalyst

Day one is over, just lying in bed watching "Myth Busters" trying to unwind. So tired...so tired. It has been an amazing day spent together with the leaders at History. There is such an immeasurable value to getting away together.

Heard Andy Stanley, Loui Giglio, Don Miller, and John Maxwell today. Awesome! I think my favorite was Don Miller, but Maxwell and Stanley hit homeruns too! After Donald Miller, Gumby ran out and bought "Blue Like Jazz." It was interesting...he talks just like he writes...

I miss my wife...

more later...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Graphics


One of Ben's biggest gifts is graphic design...an amazing creative compliment to his leadership and speaking abilities. Here is a sample of graphics he created for my message this Sunday. We are going with an ipod kind of vibe. BTW...my brother-in-law just got my sister an ipod nano...holy cow is that a stinkin' amazing piece of gadget wonders!

Story Telling

This is a pretty packed week for me. We are taking off tonight to go to the Catalyst conference, so a lot of things are getting smushed into a couple of days. I'm on deck to speak at History this Sunday. One of the convictions that I have about preaching, particularly in our culture today is that we must strive to be great story tellers.

I am so struck by the narrative qualities of Scripture and I think often our tendency is to strip the text of these qualities. I am by no means an expert at this, but I really make it a goal to incorporate a sense of story or narrative into the way that I teach. While preparing today I listened online to one of my favorite radio shows called This American Life. These guys are master story tellers. I love their format, and the flowing of one idea through three different acts (separate stories). I wonder if this kind of thing could be pulled off in a Sunday morning message?


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

no more spam

Sorry for the proliferation of spam on my blog...I hadn't turned on any of the commenting filters, so I was a prime target. Darn those spammers...amazing the ways they weasel themselves in.

So the good news is that you won't have to read anymore spam on my blog. The bad news is that the number of comments on my posts will promptly plummet to a very few. :-)

cheers.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Measures of Success

I was in a funk on Sunday...well not a funk...just not really feeling like I had it all together. I had a cold that was still lingering, was feeling tired, not sure about my song selection and unsure if things were going to go well.

All through the worship set, I was worrying about my playing and my execution, and I remember praying as I lead, "Lord please use me today in spite of me...I have nothing to give...please use me." I sat down and didn't feel a whole lot different. Ben spoke...and was on fire...God was really speaking through him, but I still didn't feel a whole lot different about worship.

Then as the day progressed I had several people remark to me that God had really ministered to them in a significant way during our worship set. I am always amazed at the times that God chooses to move. In our weakness he is strong...

I was reminded today that it is not me who is in charge...perhaps my feelings of inadequacy made my heart ripe to allow God to move. It is essential in ministry that we keep a posture of surrender...total surrender...and I think we will be surprised at what God will do...and it may even change our measures of success.