Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Couple Class
This weekend my wife and I went to a class on the Christian home. At first I was very weary about making yet another trip to school and was worried that she wouldn't enjoy it. I must say that we had a great time. Our professor really does a wonderful job of bringing the grand themes of theology down to the practicalness of life. Over the course of a few weeks I will be commenting on some of these themes here. Our professor wanted me to journal about the lessons learned and since this is the closest thing I do to journaling, you all will learn something (hopefully) too.

One of the things that really impacted me was the reading of the creation accounts. I think we often skim over Genesis one with regards to the creation of man and woman because we think that the real "truth" about the account comes in chapter two. In chapter one, however, we see that God creates man AND woman in His image. In chapter two Eve is made from Adam. This refers to chronology, but chapter one gives insight into importance. Man and woman are equally important and equally reflect God's image. They just do it differently. In chapter one we also find out that woman was given the same charge of dominion over the land that man was. Eve wasn't just an afterthought to make Adam's job easier, both are co-regents of creation.

What excites me is that I see how my wife and I are both gifted in special ways to complete the job God has for us. She is not here to help me complete my job. I can look to my wife and see how God is using her in mighty ways. He has a unique plan and ministry for her. As a pastor, it is easy for me to slip into the idea that she is my wife to assist my youth ministry. Truth be told it is ministry to our family that God calls us to first. But God has something marvelous for her alone. It may be connected to youth ministry. If it is, great. If not, wonderful. My prayer is that my eyes would open to see what God has planned for her and her life, not just how she can assist me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Identity VS. Assignment

Last night in class my prof said that we must never confuse our identity and our assignment. Identity is who I am. Assignment is what God has called me to do. I am a youth pastor. I feel the calling in every ounce of my being. I am passionate for seeing youth come to know Christ more and to live out that love. I am most creative (sadly) when it comes to ministry. When I let my assignment rule my life, I have made my assignment my identity. In reality, I am a child of God, son of the Most High. My delight and passion should come from being known by Him and being found in Him.

When we confuse our assignment (whether that be youth pastor, lay church leader, students...whatever God calls us to) we are exchanging something that lasts and is corruptable for the true reality in Christ. Significance becomes a work of our hands instead of rest in Christ's work. Our passion for life should be an outflowing of our connection to the Father, Son, and Spirit. They are the reason we live and move and have our being.

Father, let my supreme life purpose being found devotion to You first, then love for my wife and family, then finally my assignment, which was given by you in the first place. Forgive me for finding significance in things which are a shadow of the reality. You are reality.


Friday, September 17, 2004

Quick Update
Volunteer troubles, counseling teens, long classes, lots of reading, sleeping, manned a concession stand for women's ministry, computer problems, computer triumphs, school lunches, "see you at the pole", prayer meeting, spastic middle schoolers, student fist fight, student pregnancy scare, brain storming, computer problems, dinner with friends, yummy chicken, student ministry building late night break-in, video editing, personal prayer, day off at the church, lunch at school, rest (hopefully) and finally all night lock-out. Whew!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Zest Fest 2004

Last Sunday the wifey, MIL and I went to Zest Fest, a hot sauce convention. I must say I was quite impressed. There were sauces, rubs, chili's, salsas, drinks, candies, and even cookies...all with some sort of heat in them. I must say that a Chipotle chocolate chip cookie is not as bad as you would think. All over were wide belted, sweaty Texas with an eye (and GI tract) for heat. They were walking around with boxes in one hand and beers in the other. And the samples, mmmm....the samples. Cheeses, hot wings, sausages, chili, and Margari...I mean soda.

I would say the highlight of the day happened in the men's restroom. OK, so I'm standing in front of the Urinal. Doing my thing. Keeping my face forward. As I turn to leave I notice a man in a giant Chili costume relieving himself four urinals down from me. All I could think was, "I wish I had a camera phone." A giant chili standing at a urinal...just picture it!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Prayer for the church
Our Heavenly Father, shine your light into our hearts. Shine through our complacency and indifference. Ignite the embers of compassion within us. Light our paths so we may know your will. Illuminate our hearts with grace and truth. Be the true light of the world. Glorify Christ through us (and despite us). Write us (though not only us) into your story of redemption and salvation. Unite us in one faith, one baptism, and one Lord. We are your Bride. Forgive our adulturous squabbling and greediness. Forgive our rebellious independence. Romance us once again to your side, never to leave you again.

We pray these things in the Glorious name of Christ,

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

"My Name in Print"
Today I opened up a weekly update I get from YouthSpecialties and at the bottom this site was the featured blog of the week. YS is an organization that helps tons of youthworkers all over the world. They have ministered to me is so many ways. So, the first thought that went through my mind was, "Oh Crap! People are going to realize I have nothing to say."

I sit here now realizing that it's ok to not be intensely deep or meaningful every day of my life. Frankly, my brain is drained from reading books I don't want to read for school and writing Bible studies. A lot of my creativity and meanderings aren't always on the pages of this blog. Hopefully they are in the interactions with my family, friends and the students I work with. To be quite honest, my deepest thoughts exist in live conversations with others. I don't even think them, I just say them. Because I think out loud it is hard for me to write my thoughts down.

Come to think about it, why do I care that some random person may come by the site and deem it "lame"? A blog isn't about impressing others. It's about me being me. It's about me being able to let friends who are living in far off places (like Vancouver and Garden Grove) know how I am doing. If I don't have anything to say, why force it. So, sorry to all you youth workers. You probably won't find a whole lot to help you in your ministry. You probably won't even find very much about ministry at all. You will, however find the deep, the shallow and the mundane. And mixed around with those things you will find me.