Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Who's encouraging you?

Today's post comes from Joel Osteen. Joel is a pretty happy guy with really white teeth. I wish I could afford that! Anyway, He gets mocked quite a bit and made fun of because of his one & only message... which is encouragement. He's probably not very balanced and maybe is a little to happy. But I have to be honest, I need a little Joel Osteen in my life every once in a while. Sometimes I'm low and I need encouragement. Sometimes I don't feel very happy and I need someone to spur me on! I don't rely on Joel to do that, but I do appreciate what other people bring to the body of Christ! I actually get daily encouragement in my inbox from his ministry. I don't read it often, but when I do, it really does help. Here is a little encouragement from the man himself. click here Question, who are you encouraging and who is encouraging you? Are your teeth as white as Joel Osteens?

Monday, May 28, 2007

This weekends Luau & Global Warming

We had a blast this past weekend as we finished up our parenthood series and had our annual all-church Luau. It was a beautiful day (and very hot, more proof for global warming... or that it was simply a hot day) Thanks to everyone who pulled it together, it was a great day! I'm still recovering from my inflatable obstacle course injuries. Can you say sis-si-fied. Anyway, lots of interesting posts in store for this week. Here is a great link for a Christian response to the global warming craze. click here While we should all be concerned about our environment and do our part to be good stewards of the earth that God has entrusted to us, a little balance would be beneficial as we respond to the media craze. This issue will be one of the great tests of critical thinking (as a society) over the next decade. We would do well to remember that scientific consensus on any issue has been shown to be historically ridiculous because there is no such thing as consensus in science (eg. of consensus from our past...1. the earth is flat 2. theory of evolution) I hope that as believers we can return to critical thinking (which comes from a biblical world view) and draw our conclusions on everything from reason and study, not simply a movie or one newspaper article. Balance is the key, no matter how inconvenient that may be.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mikayla & Caleb debut this Sunday

Here is the link to my kids big moment to be played this weekend. (click here)We video taped them for my message intro to help with my terrible jokes. They are always funnier when read by children. Mikayla has been reading an memorizing a joke book that was given to me recently. Funny Stuff! Kids are great, that's why I have so many...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Starbucks and the meaning of life

I read a great blog by Seth Godin who is a marketing genius. He reminds as that it's never to late to become what we always thought we could. What does that mean in your life, job, ministry? You decide, the article is below...

Too late? (sethgodin.typepad.com)

Here's today's entrepreneurial trivia question:

Even after Starbucks had five stores and more than 20 employees, which item was unavailable for purchase at their stores:
Espresso
Hot Coffee
Biscotti
Frappucino® blended beverage

Actually, it's a trick question. The answer is 'all of the above.' It wasn't until several years after the company was up and running that they realized it would be a good idea to sell any beverages at all. All they sold was beans (but you could get a free taste of coffee if you asked nicely).

It might not be too late to fix your marketing/story/product mix.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I can't wait to see this movie

We were sitting in our staff meeting today talking about how to better meet the needs in our community. We discovered a resource that is pretty cool based on a movie called 'Evan Almighty' that I can't wait to see. The website is called www.arkalmighty.com and has all of the info on it so feel free to check it out! On another note, let's all be in prayer for Jack Bauer (from 24) who is contemplating suicide.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Season Finales, Jack Bauer jokes, and stuff

The office season finale was funny. I enjoyed the resurgence of the relationship between Jim & Pam. I'm a romantic, my wife and I loved it. The season finale for 24 is this Monday! I can't handle all of these season finales at once, too much fun! Let's pause for a few Jack Bauer jokes...

1. The city of Los Angeles once named a street after Jack Bauer in gratitude for his saving the city several times. They had to rename it after people kept dying when they tried to cross the street. No one crosses Jack Bauer and lives. (my personal fav)
2.
Kim Bauer is proof that not even the pill can stop Jack Bauer.
3.
Jack Bauer arm wrestled Superman. The loser had to wear his underwear on the outside of his pants.
4.
Once, someone tried to tell Jack Bauer a "knock knock" joke. Jack Bauer found out who was there, who they worked for, and where the bomb was.
5.
On the 7th day, God rested. Then Jack Bauer took over.

Moving on, I took most of this week off to concentrate on finishing my new fence. Fortunately I had some help because I'm definitely not manly enough to install that post and rail myself. (you the man Fritz) It's been a good week, I feel like I'm beginning to get rejuvenated again. (not enough to wake up this morning to meet you Bry, sorry bro) I'm excited about the warm weather, my enclosed backyard (if you had 3 kids and one on the way you would be also) and everything that God is doing through our church family! I'm blessed to be a part of a great church and to have such an awesome family. Today is a good day. Enjoy the day, who knows what tomorrow brings. Hopefully it's similar to today.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Armaggedon & a great week at Freedom Life

I'll turn to one of my favorite past times today. It's more of an interest than enjoyable. An article is out today in regard to the seriousness of the situation with Iran. click here One of my favorite blogs to read is joelrosenberg.blogspot.com. If you like a political/religious viewpoint of this emerging crisis you will not find any more reliable information than on his blog. This year could be a year of unprecedented warfare and change in our country. It is a sobering feeling and it is not a matter of if but when. We should pray, especially with the end times in mind. Of course these current events may not escalate Armaggedon, but they will affect our country in a number of ways. On a brighter note, we had an awesome weekend at church with numerous people responding to take a step back toward God. Great stuff!

Friday, May 11, 2007

A really great book!

I've been reading a new book off and on these last few weeks called, "Contrarian's Guide to Knowing God," by Larry Osbourne. I met Larry at a conference a few weeks ago and I was really impressed with normalcy. Sounds odd I know, but a lot of Pastors especially can be abnormal (I'm living proof), especially ones of really big churches. Anyway, Larry does a masterful job of explaining things that I always knew weren't true but believed them anyway. Back to the book, I'll give you a quick snipet (is that a word?) and let you check out the book. Trust me, it is worth the read. Some of you will get it and argue with it, I know I have. I guess that's because I didn't want to believe that I could be wrong on spiritual topics after all these years of 'spiritual growth.' I'll probably post some thoughts from the book over the next few weeks and let you share your thoughts. Feel free to post your thoughts that agree and don't agree. Chapter 13 of Larry's book is called, "Best Practices Overload--a comparison's curse." I'll give you quote from Page 140. "...I realize that most of my motivation to emulate all the strengths and traits I admired in others didn't come from listening to the voice of God. It came from trying to please friends and mentors who all assumed that their calling must by my calling. I was surprised by the new sense of freedom and renewed focus I experienced once I no longer felt the need to match up to everyone else's best practices of the Christian faith. I was finally free to focus on the unique passions and gifts God had given me. Instead of constantly feeling inadequate about the areas where I didn't match up, I started to notice and rejoice in all the areas where I did. I became a better me, rather than just a poor copy of someone else." Have you ever over-compared yourself to the spiritual giants around you and found that you just don't measure up?

Monday, May 7, 2007

What would you do if you could do anything?

I know we can't do whatever we want. We all have responsibilities such as spouses, children, fido and the rest. I had a chance to spend some time with friends of mine who are pastors and leaders in various communities and I asked them what their dream was. Not some stale sisified Christian response that we'd smile and wave our used hankies in agreement. We were talking about what we wanted to spend our days doing. So we all went around the table and shared. Some had detailed dreams while others were still figuring out what their dream was. Most everyone at the table was not fulfilling their dream. We have a tendency to tuck our dreams away and not share them or live them because of our feelings of inadequacy. What if the burden or dream that God has placed on your heart isn't merely an option that God is giving you but is more of an expectation. I'm a firm believer that God allows us to see things so that we can do something about it and not simply complain that it's not being done. What is the God-driven dream that you have tucked away or have given up on? I just met with a wonderful lady in our church who is starting a prayer ministry in her community. Right now it's just her and a dream that God could transform that entire town. She didn't realize that God has been stirring me to hopefully plant a church there in the next 2 years over these last few months. In fact, probably only 4-5 people know that (including the possible church planter). There is no way in telling how God will meet us as we step into the unknown and follow the burden that He places on our hearts. Maybe we'll fail. Maybe our dreams will fall apart or worse yet become a nightmare. Or maybe, just maybe, we can live the life and do the things that we've always dreamed of for the Kingdom of God.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

I ordered my first 1,000!


Check out this article about a Pastor who challenged his congregation to stop complaining by taking a 21 day challenge. click for article here (probably brought on by 1 or 2 pests in the church that hated their own lives and tried to ruin his) Very simple, every time you complain you move the bracelet from one hand to the other. This causes you to think about how much you complain and eventually you get sick of it (or more aware) and you change. Makes sense I think, works for the neighborhood dogs...I want to try that on my kids maybe. Not the dog collar but the bracelet, you sick people. Anyway, that is a real challenge and pretty good stuff. The article articulates an opposing perspective in regards to the healthy aspect of complaining (venting). Which I agree with to some extent but I sure am glad that Barbara the complaining advocate is not my wife. I think the guys idea is pretty cool and sounds like a pretty effective and simple idea for making positive changes. What do you think? (no complaining about the article)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I'm sitting here...

I'm sitting here listening to Pastor Steve Tourville at Ministries Summit (AG thing) and he is talking about being a shepherd leader. He reminded everyone that we do not own our church, people or even staff. I love that. I always try and make sure that I reference each of those in the context of 'ours,' (meaning as a church family) and not 'mine.' I hold pretty passionately to Freedom Life and the vision but very loose to the ownership of it. Jesus is the Shepherd and I'm thankful to partner with him and hopefully make my days on this earth meaningful. I'm so thankful to be a part of a fantastic church, made up of amazing people and tremendous leaders. I'm humbled just to think of what God allows me to do in His church.
I've had some awesome discussions with some great leaders over these last 24 hours. We shared frustration, vision and laughed till my stomach was about to explode. I'm so impressed with my friends and what God is doing through their lives. I have this holy discontent that Bill Hybels talked about last week at the church planting conference I went to and God is teaching me some great stuff. I'm pretty excited about casting the vision to our team this week in regards to church planting and networking. God is good everyday, even when my eye won't stop twitching.