Friday, October 31, 2003

Mike Yaconelli died yesterday from injuries from a car crash. He was the owner of Youth Specialties and a trainer to many youth workers around the world. I heard him speak several times and he impacted me deeply. He taught me that it is better to fall flat on your face running after Jesus than to not try at all. He was the champion of Christians everywhere who were convinced they didn't have it all together. I am deeply saddened by his sudden passing. While we mourn on earth, there is rejoicing in heaven. I love you, Stinkie.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Becoming like Christ

I am teaching on what it means to become like Christ. My wife and I were talking and she said some things that really impressed me. In her eyes, becoming like Christ is like finding out what exactly your true place in the world. We, as humans, try to be everything but what God has made us to be. We try to be God and rule ourselves. We try to be like the guy down the street who is better than us. Other animals don't do this. Frogs don't wake up one morning and say, "I'd like to be a lion!" Why do humans do it? Well, sin is the reason. We need to realize that Jesus is our true Father and we have a place in His purpose. Our place is being a part of God's plan. Jesus understood this. One aspect of His job was to die for our sins. He understood that the painful death was his part to play and told God, "Nevertheless, Your will be done." Only when we understand this and become who God has made us to be will we truly live. Understanding this is where true freedom comes from. In being like Christ we have the freedom to be who God made us to be. Colossians tells us that we have died with Christ and we raised with Christ to a new life. That new life is a life of freedom to worship God in all we do.

Father, I need to understand more where my place is. Father, I want to work for your purposes alone. Help me to resign who I want to be and seek what you want me to be. I have died to the old self so I may live, by the Spirit's help, for you. I pray that your church, led by Christians who understand their need for you, will point people to Christ in new and magnificent ways. Give us creativity and passion to serve. Spirit, guide us to transform this culture and world around us for the Glory of God, the Father.

In Christ,

Monday, October 27, 2003

Kikkoman Ad
We have Popeye to sell spinach, Japan has their own superhero to sell Kikkoman soy sauce. I never knew that soy sauce was such a babe magnet.

Friday, October 24, 2003

National Youth Worker's Convention

Right now our two full time staff people are in Charlotte, North Carolina at the National Youth Workers Convention. I am pretty jealous of them. Somebody's got to hold down the fort, so I guess that is me.

I'll be honest. I feel left out. I feel like my boss get's more vacations and more time off than I do and I am only part time. Sometimes I feel like I cover for him a lot more than I should. Sometimes I don't feel appreciated.
There I said it.

On the other hand I am wrestling with wanting to be a blessing to the other people on staff. I want to be a servant. I know God has called me to look not to my own interests, but to the interests of others. I know I am being completely selfish, and I hate it. The thing is that Jesus gave His life up for us. He wasn't appreciated either.

God, change this heart in me. Transform me by the renewing of my mind. I ask for your Spirit to fill me. Lord, when I want to serve you, my selfish ways hinder me. I cry out for my rights and for recognition, but you have called me to selflessly serve without seeking recognition. That is what you rebuked the Pharisees for doing. Father, stop me from showy religion that seeks my own glory. Stop me from a life bent on man's approval. My reward will be on earth if I follow my pride. I want your approval. I want you to have the glory. Thank you for loving me despite my sinfulness. Thank you that Christ points the way of life you desire to see in me.

In Christ's name,

Tiger Attack Video

A video of the tiger attack on Sigfreid and Roy has emerged
Beware. It is pretty graphic, so don't watch it with kids around. It will definitely shock them.

Monday, October 20, 2003

A weekend of glut

Went to Benihana and pigged out friday night. Went to the fair saturday and had corn dogs, frito pies, and much more.

I got a book called "Adventures in Missing the Point" for my birthday (among other things like Simpson's and King of The Hill DVD's and some raquetball equipment). The book is a commentary on evangelicals.

One way we have been missing the point is that the kingdom of God is not just about heaven, it's about working for justice and truth on earth. Most of us have a "the boat is sinking so let's save as many people as we can" view of this world. Is this a complete view of the kingdom of God?

Friday, October 17, 2003

Happy Birthday to me

Yup, today is my 24th birthday. I slept in, ate a Chick-fil-A chicken breakfast burrito, and played video games at Best Buy. I will soon eat mexican with my wife for lunch, play raquetball, and have Benihana for dinner! What a day!

If you do not know about the Chick-fil-A breakfast burrito yet, you are missing out. I call it the nexus of the universe because there is egg and chicken in it. What other food in the world can you eat the beginning and end of the same animal!

Seriously, my time on earth has shown me just how faithful God is. He has blessed me tremendously, even more than I can imagine. I have grace through His Son, a wonderful wife, a great family and an amazing ministry.

I keep thinking of a song I learned from a 75 year old professor.

What a mighty God we serve!
What a mighty God we serve!
Mountains bow before Him,
heaven and earth adore Him.
What a mighty God we serve!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

God, may my heart be yours. May I surrender to the selfishness in my heart and submit to your rule. Thank you for the transforming and renewing of my mind through your Spirit. You are God, may you reign in the world and my life.

Monday, October 13, 2003

September 11th exhibit
This weekend was jam packed with activity. On friday we went to our local science museum to see the Smithsonian 9/11 exhitbit. I feel honored that it is in Fort Worth, TX as one of 7 cities it will be in.

I remember after that day how we all thought God was going to use this tragedy to draw people to Him. So, far I haven't seen a whole lot of change in people. Have we become so calloused to pain and suffering that we don't get affected by it anymore. It scares me that if something like 9/11 didn't get people's attention what is it going to take to get American's attention? Something far worse I fear.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Purpose Driven Life

This week our church started the Purpose Driven Campaign. I am teaching three weeks in our couples class and four weeks in middle school. I've been reading the book and to be completely honest, I'm not that impressed. Maybe it's because my heart is hardened. Maybe it is because I am reading about 8 other spiritual books for seminary. Maybe it's because I already truly know these truths in my life.

I feel frustrated that everyone else seems to get so much out of this book and I seem not get anything. It seems to me that the benefit of the Purpose campaign is to get everyone on the same page without having to push it from the pulpit. It let's people discover the truth of God for themselves. I am grateful that God will work in the lives of the people, I just wish I was one of them.

On other news, I heard that a friend of mine is getting a divorce. He was a strong leader in our youth ministry when I was in high school. He had worked in youth ministry for a while. It came out that his wife had been cheating on him. I can't imagine what he must be going through. Please pray for him. My heart aches for the sins inside the church. You wonder why Christ isn't being exalted among the nations? I have a guess.

Father, please change the selfish hearts of believers who care more about their own comfort than for your will. Protect me and my family from falling into the trap and lies of Satan. Protect the church from sin that causes relationships to crumble and eliminates our witness to the world. We need your Spirit, Father! Without Him we are sunk.

Monday, October 06, 2003

We had a great time at camp and a wonderful anniversary! My wife got me a frisbee golf bag! Whoo hoo!

The best part of the weekend was being able to worship with my wife. We don't get to do that on a regular Sunday. It was an amazing weekend. God worked and memories were made. More to come later.