Archive for February, 2009

Annoyed

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I’m not sure why this bugs me so much.  Just want to rant for a brief moment of time.  

There’s this guy at the gym who showers after working out and prefers to drip dry rather than using a towel.  After air drying for the appropriate amount of time he then creates great clouds of smoke throughout the locker room with this powder that he pours out over his feet.  It would be one thing if he had his own little private space.  He seems to invade everyone’s personal bubble in the locker room.  He’s like a big dog that you let come into your house during a heavy rainfall.  Water is everywhere and then the baby powder goes flying…   I actually think he is oblivious to the invasion of space.  Either that or he just doesn’t care – I prefer to think he is just oblivious.  

Why does it bug me so much?  Is there something that I need to work on?

What are the things that annoy you?

It Begins At Home

Listening to President Obama tonight I was inspired in one particular area of my life.  I’ll quote the President for a brief moment here and then make my point:

barack-obama-bwThese education policies will open the doors of opportunity for our children. But it is up to us to ensure they walk through them. In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a mother or father who will attend those parent/teacher conferences, or help with homework after dinner, or turn off the TV, put away the video games, and read to their child. I speak to you not just as a President, but as a father when I say that responsibility for our children’s education must begin at home.

I could not agree with President Obama more as he spoke about the vital importance of the role of a mother and father in the life of their children.  More people need to echo those words with action.  More people need to set in motion a re-prioritizing of how they spend time.  There is no greater influence in the lives of children than that of their parents.  None.  Plain and Simple.

This translates into the spiritual education of children as well.  The family unit is the Biblical standard for education.  I refer to the well known portion of Scripture known as the Shema:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

This is called discipleship.  This is the Biblical foundation for education – the home – the parents.  I have been asked more times than I can count about discipling teenagers over the past 10 years.  While my desire is that all would be disciples I also have a keen awareness of the importance of the family unit.  My answer to parents often receives quizzical looks, “I won’t disciple your teenager, but I will disciple you in order that you can disciple your teenager.”  The mindset for many is that because I am the “paid pastor for youth” that naturally I would be the one to disciple teenagers.  Not the case.  Scripture can not be any more clear as to how discipleship takes place.

Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

This means pretty much all the time.  Wherever you are and whenever the moment arises.  I believe in this.  I share the truths of Scripture with my kids.  My wife and I desire to raise our kids with a clear understanding of who God is and how much He loves them.  We want our kids to grow in their knowledge of God in order that they would fall madly in love with He who is madly in love with them.  I look for teachable moments with my children where I can bring to light God’s Word to them in ways that they can comprehend.

Two things I am aware of.  

  • There are many parents who were never discipled themselves.
  • There are many teenagers who come from families that do not share their beliefs.

It is because of these two things that I make myself available to disciple parents.  This process gives them the tools that they need to do the same with their kids.  It is also why I make myself available to disciple some youth.  In a prefect world all youth would have parents who could train them in Biblical truths and open Scriptures up to them – it doesn’t always happen.  That is why we must help them.

Question: How are you helping families disciple their children?  How are you making discipleship a priority in your own family?

Monday Morning Quarterback

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Here’s how the goals are going:

  • Time with family: It was a good week.  Had some great time with Megan on Friday morning – we do every Friday (Daddy Date) but this week was particularly good.  She is starting to get more talkative with me about things in her life.  Saturday we spent some extra time together and snuck away to Panera for a snack.  She loves the alone time with me because she doesn’t have to compete with her little sister for attention…
  • Exercising: 2 times last week to the gym but I also got out on the slopes with some old friends for a day of snowboarding.  Plenty of exercise that day.  Favorite moment of the day on the slopes – after lunch the 2 other guys (same age as me) were complaining about sore legs, I felt great and was ready for another 4 hours of riding.  Conditioning definitely pays off!  Due to the no run day on Monday I only racked up 10 miles last week.  Still feel great though. 
  • Weight: last week – 200  this week – 199.  A pound is a pound.  Probably didn’t help that Margaret served up some sweet chicken wraps at Impact this week.  Total lost so far is 16 pounds. 
  • Read Two Books Per Week:  I shall refer to this week as the “Week of the Afro.”  This week I dug into some deep reading with Democracy Matters by Cornel West and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  In commenting on Democracy Matters I will say it was far above my reading level.  While I consider myself intelligent I will admit to running to the dictionary frequently to bring clarity to his word choice.  It almost got to the point of frustration.  Seriously Cornel, if you really want people to read your books and enjoy them, dumb down your speech to at least a grad-school level!  My other reading choice was much more enjoyable.  Malcolm Gladwell won my reading interest with his previous edition, The Tipping Point, and with the newest release from him I am just as thrilled.  This is a great read that explores the differences between people who succeed and those who don’t.  He digs into the small advantages that some have that help propel them to success in their ventures.  The little bits of random trivia interspersed within the book were reason enough to read this one.  I feel like I am armed with that much more useless trivia to wow friends with at parties.  “Did you know that most pro hockey players were born in January?”  You do now…
  • Stop Checking Email on Days Off and Holidays/Vacations:  My schedule got a bit mixed up this week with my preparation for preaching on Sunday and a few unplanned situations that needed to be addressed.  Due to this I will admit to checking email at unplanned times to stay in the loop on a few things.  I promise I’ll do better!

That’s all for this weekly update.  More next week!

UNafraid Message

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Some of you have been asking about the message that I preached on fear this morning.  You can check it out here.  May you live a life that is UNafraid!

40 Days of Water

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We have the gift of choice:  Freedom to choose on any given day what clothes we will wear, what work we will do, what food we will eat and what we will drink.  In nearly a third of the world injustice threatens to take away these basic kinds of choices that we take for granted.  In these places a woman can choose to drink the unclean river water or the unclean puddle water.  She can choose to walk once for four hours to get water or walk twice for eight hours to get more water.  She can choose to give her children something to drink that she knows may make them sick or she can give them nothing at all.  She can persist or give up.  You can help give her a real choice.

I challenge you to join me to make Water your ONLY beverage for 40 DAYS starting MARCH 1 and ending APRIL 9 in conjunction with the Lenten Season and World Water Day (Mar. 22).  Gather your friends and join in solidarity with our African brothers and sisters in an effort to provide clean water for communities in need.  As you do so, keep track of what money you would have typically spent on other drinks throughout the day and save that money.  At the end of 40 days donate what you saved to Blood:Water.  Imagine, if you saved $5 a day just by cutting out a visit to your local bar or barista, then you’d save $200 in 40 days.  That’s enough to provide clean water for 200 people for an entire year!

So ditch the morning coffee and o.j., leave out the lunchtime soda, and cancel the evening beverage. You won’t need an ark for this 40 Days of Water, but you will need a little self-discipline.  I know you can do it, because you know who you’re doing it for.  Make the choice.  Visit bloodwatermission.com/40days to find out more, download materials, and get started.

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UNafraid

Proverbs 29:25 says:

The fear of human opinion disables; 
   trusting in God protects you from that.

This week at GCC we will be looking at how we can become UNafraid when it comes to interacting with people.  We’ll be looking at what God’s plan for us looks like and how we can step into those plans boldly without the fear of man.  As a quick teaser I thought I would include the video intro that our Media Team has put together for the message.  

Can I just say that we have an incredible Media Team!  Great job on this one guys.

My prayer is that through the course of this series many people will find freedom from the fears that have been crippling them in their relationships and in life.  Get your boots on and get ready to drop-kick fear in the head

Something I’m Chewing On

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“We have contented ourselves not with seeking the face of God, but with studying the facts of God.  We are satisfied with a religion about Christ, without the reality of Christ.”                        -Francis Frangipane

Facebook Friends vs Real Friends

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Social networks are all the rage right now.  It seems everywhere I go I hear people talking about a new “friend” that they accepted on Facebook.  Heck, my mom has a Facebook!  Over the past few months my friend list has grown tremendously.  I have been reconnecting with old friends from college and high school.  I do not strive to have an incredibly large friend list.  I’m the type of person who cares deeply about the people and I like to actually know the people that I am friends with.

While these friends are great and it is nice to know that Bill is doing well out in Utah and everyone needs to know that Jenna misses her cell phone there also seems a bit of disconnection that occurs through these friendships.  We keep each other at safe distances and reveal as much as we want to online and yet never actually spend time with our “friends” any more.  It seems as though these friendships need to be changed.

I write this after having spent the day snowboarding with Scott Campbell and Matt Trottier.  Scott & I went to school together junior high through college and Matt and I grew up together from elementary school through high school.  I have seen Scott every so often – we both agree not enough, and it has literally been almost 20 years since I last got together with Matt.  Today we spent the day on the slopes catching up with each other.  It was so refreshing to see each other and spend a great day reconnecting.  We plan on doing this much more often.  Matt even wants to work together with me to use Facebook to recruit more old high school friends to another day on the slopes.

This all raises the question, what are you doing to connect with friends outside of the safety of your computer screen?  

Monday Morning Quarterback

mmqb

Here’s how the goals are going:

  • Time with family: Doing well.  Had a great time with the kids – even played “little pet shops” with the kids one day.  Family dinners are really cherished by me as that is a time when we get to reconnect and catch up on the events of the day.  
  • Exercising: 3 times last week. Another long distance day on Monday with 9.5 miles.  All together I cleared 20 miles last week. 
  • Weight: last week – 203  this week – 200.  Another 3 pounds!  I’m actually getting comments from friends now that I am looking thinner and have inspired a few people to get back on track.  Total lost so far is 15 pounds and I am proud of that!
  • Monthly Date Night with Kim:  I know it may seem cliche but we went out for Valentines Day dinner.  The youth at our church were doing a fundraiser for a mission trip to Jamaica so it worked great for me with arranging a babysitter.  Dinner was great and we are feeling even more well connected than ever.  Our conversations have been fantastic when we make the time to be together.  I love my wife and these date nights have been incredible to keep us growing together.
  • Read Two Books Per Week:  I re-read Next Generation Leader – this is one that I pull from my bookshelf yearly.  Great insight that I can always draw from.  I did not get to a second book this week though.  Kim and I spent a bit more time in front of the tube – I’ll never give up on Heroes or The Office – sorry!
  • Stop Checking Email on Days Off and Holidays/Vacations:  Still going well.  This truly has become a structured safety net for me in valuing my time with family.  I know that I am greatly appreciating the time with my kids and I think they feel the same way!

That’s all for this weekly update.  More next week!

Curious Case of Benjamin Gump

Saw this over at Marko’s blog and felt it worry of sharing with you all.  I haven’t seen the movie but now I feel like I did, about 15 years ago, when it was called Forrest Gump…

I’ll send you to his blog to watch it.