Friday, November 30, 2007

Demotivator: The best pictures taken in NZ Hands Down!

There are a group of posters called Demotivators that are sarcastically funny:
ie. "Failure: When your Best Just Isn't Good Enough."
Here is my attempt below but PLEASE comment,
What Do You Think My Demotivator Should Say?

When You Think You Have it Perfect...

You Probabaly Don't.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I had something today i haven't had since i've been back.
Dan Ward has been telling me this for months, but something just clicked today where i thought to myself,
"I am just going to focus on my responsibilities for youth group tonight and not allow other things to distract me." Here is the Name that Tune intro i made today.

I felt that the day and night at Youth group went so well!

I look forward to this same focus hopefully carrying over into all aspects in my life.

The Spirit is Moving!

Josh said as we were leaving, "I could feel the Spirit in the room tonight... you know how there are those times where just you know it feels different."
I was able to share about my call to New Zealand this Monday at the Young Adult's Group at Central. The talk and discussion went well, but the time i appreciated most was when the group gathered around and prayed for me at the end.

Chris and Brian both felt that God gave them specific messages during the prayer time.

Earlier Monday, I was asked about a potential job position at IWU that i was looking into for just the Spring just in case i wasn't back to NZ by January. I was told that i would have to consider more like a year and a half to be have a chance at the position. I was pretty certain i wasn't supposed to take the job, but it is very hard for me to turn down potential opportunities in general but the decision had to be made by Tuesday.

After i got the call i spent an hour in my office laying my future in front of God and asking him to be in control. I read through Proverbs 16, which i do whenever i am working through plans and future. Proverbs 16:33 Stood out the most.
"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD
came up and prefaced Brian's words by saying that while he was laying hands on brian's back during the group prayer, that God was wanting me to know and i quote almost word for word:
"that know matter what the temptations, frustrations, ...i don't know, even job opportunities that may come up, to remain focused and encouraged in what you are doing."

gave me a sheet with words he felt God had given him for me. The jist of the note said to make sure that since i had Joshua 1 prayed over me in regards to New Zealand that i would have to make sure to tarry long in the Lord's Presence as Joshua did(Exodus 33:11) before i would experience the conquering Joshua did later on in his life. That is beautiful as that is honestly the only thing that i honestly feel that i have done fairly well at over the past 4 months!

Whoever is reading this from the group. Thank you for being apart of inviting the Lord's presence into our group in a way that is allowing him to move among us. That will be Huge in the future!

Moses from the group shared with me a cool story about how God was working in his life, afterwards, you should definitely ask him about. I believe God is moving in the group and it will be exciting to watch the future results!

Monday, November 19, 2007

What is a Church Service Supposed to Be?

I was just thinking about this and My definition of what i believe church should be is:

A church service should be a direct reflection of what the congregation have desired all week as Christians.

If it is not that, then it probably needs to be reevaluated.

For instance,
I wish i had someone wiser to answer my questions and teach me more about the bible
... this is called preaching

I wish i had a time to stop and remember why and the world i am living and be reminded of my purpose.
... this is a big part of communion.

I wish i had a time to just breathe and lay my schedule before the Lord
...this should happen in our worship and prayer time

I would love to express my feelings, thoughts, and emotions to God through song
... that is called praise (we are commanded over 41 times in Psalms to sing to God)

I wish i had a place where i was around other Christians, after being in a secular work place all week,
... this is called fellowship

I wish i had a place to get excited about God with others
.... this could happen in worship and conversations

My personal opinion on church is that it does a pretty good job.
Sadly, the two desires i often see lacking in a church out of its insecurity to be relevant and not boring are:

1. A Lack of directed and intentional time to unwind, prepare our hearts, and invite the Lord to the service through prayer.

2. A Lack of Energy out of a continual cycle of the congregation not being expressive. So the leaders accommodate to the non-expressive instead of either or both working together to see this happen in a way that people could more fully engage and interact with the service.

Please realize that whenever I say a negative of the church, i am equally if not more responsible as a leader in a church by my lack of initiative and vocalization, and just expressing my opinion in hopes that others relate so that we can agree and move forward together.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just Get the Job Done!

Dan Ward showed me this clever story today!
It made me read way too slow and think way too hard but it was very clever!

This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Is it a sin to seek greatness?

I read this recently and it was too great to pass up!

In the Little League championships, twelve year old Jake steps up to bat and hits the winning home run. Everyone picks Jake up into the air out of celebration but in the middle of the celebration the dad runs out and begins yelling, "Hey! Why are you cheering for him? I taught him everything he knows! I was the one who taught him how to swing a bat. I got up early and drove him to practice. The credit for that homer belongs to me.. me!"

We would think of this father as strange, insecure, and guilty of a jealousy problem.
Yet this is how many Christians perceived our heavenly father, including myself.

Is It A Sin To Seek Greatness?
(I Typed out the whole chapter because This was HUGE to read for me and i wanted to share!)

The Lord promised greatness to two Old Testament patriarchs: Abraham and David. What did the Lord say to Abraham? "I will bless you and make your name great" (Genesis 12:2). How about David? Now i will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth" (2 Sam 7:9). In both instances He promised these men a great name. A name that would go down in history. Like any good father, God wants His children to grow up into great men and women. He doesn't seem offended if others recognize this greatness.
What was Jesus' attitude when two of His disciples sought greatness? Mark 10:35-37 tells us:
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, will you do us a favor?" Jesus asked them what they wanted, and they answered, "When you come into your glory, please let one of us sit at your right side and the other at your left."

James and John were doing what men do: seeking greatness and recognition. They wanted the best seats in God's kingdom. Notice what happened next:
"When the ten other disciples heard this, they were angry with James and John.(v41)

Two men seek greatness, and right away 83 percent of the church is spitting mad! (This was the first recorded meeting of the humility police.)

Jesus called the Twelve together, I can imagine what Judas was muttering under his breath: "Boy, are they going to get it. i bet Jesus rips their heads off!" Christ had already reprimanded the two knuckle heads for suggesting that He call fire from heaven and destroy a town that had not welcomed them. but to everyone's surprise, Jesus did not rebuke the brothers. Instead, He showed them they way to greatness:
If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others. And if you want to be first, you must be everyone's slave. The son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a slave who will give his life to rescue many people. (v. 43-45)

Those first six words are remarkable: "If you want to be great." In other words, it's okay to seek greatness. THe desire to be a great man is not sin: it is virtue. Instead of opposing James and John's lust for greatness (as the ten disciples did). Jesus directed it. The way up is down, boys. In John 14, Jesus made a remarkable prediction: the disciples will do even greater things then He did! These are not the words of a jealous, insecure Savior.

Notice Jesus also said, "if you want to be great. "The path of greatness is not one every person will tread. In fact, few do. But the possibility of greatness must be set before men, for a certain kind of man will not follow without it. James and John were nicknamed "sons of thunder." I suppose that would make them the aggressive type. (exactly the kind of men who'd be missing in today's church.)

Like Jesus, we must give men a vision of true greatness, then set them loose to achieve it. Allow men to shine and to receive recognition when they are servants and slaves. Men just know it's okay to reach for greatness as long as it's done the way Jesus prescribed- not through self-promotion, but through self-sacrifice. And we must admire men when they achieve this greatness. Listen to the words of Pastor Robert Lewis, one of America's foremost ministers to men:
Robert Bly said, "If you're not being admired by other men, you're being hurt." That struck a chord with me. As i talk with men about their struggles, i realize many men are languishing because nobody is recognizing the noble things in their life. Men need male cheerleaders. If no one cheers for nobility, men are going to collapse bak into a dumbed down masculinity that follows the cheers of the world- obsessive careerism, selfish pursuits, and ignoble deeds. We try to cheer men on- for the right things.

The world offers men the possibility of greatness. The world cheers for men. Too often the local church does not. What a tragedy! It it no sin to recognize men for the good they do. T's not about exalting individuals; it's about celebrating what God is doing in people's lives.
Ever since Abraham, men have wanted to become great. Is this so bad? What if the church, instead of opposing men in this dream, actively partnered with them? What if the church focused on raising up men of wisdom, character, and strength? What if your church were in the business of turning out great men?

If this talk of greatness if giving you heartburn, or you're afraid it will create a church full of raving egotists, let me define greatness for you. Greatness is not glory, which clearly belongs to God. Think of greatness as reflected glory: juast as the moon reflects the light of the sun, a man who achieves something for God's kingdom is simply reflecting God's glory to the world. When we follow the example of Jesus, we reflect His glory to all.

We Christians must stop treating the pursuit of greatness as an affliction. Let men reach for greatness within the local church, and the entire body will be revitalized. Applaud your men. Set them up as examples. (Remember the words of Paul: "Follow me as i follow Christ.") And don't worry about someone getting the glory. God's a big boy: He can take care of HImself. If some hypocrites is serving out of impure motives, God knows. Remember the words of Jesus repeated three times in Matthew 6, "I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full". It's not our job to be the humility police."
Why do Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow. p100-102

Small Group Thoughts

A few more thoughts from Reading Jeremiah 6 Last Night:
No, they have no shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush. Jeremiah 6:15
There seems to be a contrast and connecting between "Innocence vs. Maturity." Often we see Innocence as Ignorance and we are afraid of looking stupid, immature, or lacking credibility
I am not sure this good.
Lord help me never to sacrifice my godly innocence out of an insecurity of looking immature or ignorant.

Ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls. v16.
I have found that Rest of my soul is tied to self-worth and work
When i find my soul restless and anxious, it almost always if not always points to me trying to gain Self-Worth on my own. (This is why i try and read "You are Special" by Max Lucado as often as possible)

The only things that i feel are brought up in a public prayer request time:
uncertainty, deaths, illness, safety, provision.

Things I wish were prayed for in a public prayer time more often:
Feelings of loneliness, Time with the Lord, Opportunities to share, Discernment of good and evil, an openness to sacrifice, discipline, brokennes, wisdom, or whatever is needed to become more like Christ
(i guess that starts with me being vulnerable first.)

I Love this Promise, though!
"ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
Jer 6:15

Monday, November 12, 2007

Did I Really Just Tell That Same Joke That Flopped Again?!?

Game Night Playing PitI need to learn a little discernment!
You Know, when you tell a joke and your only response is awkward silence or confusion, it is wise to probably not retell that joke in another scenario without rethinking your method or content...

A Little Too late... Too slow...

Also i have found my humor has gotten a little cruder since hanging out with more non-Christian friends. Besides the awkward told jokes, the occasional inappropriate joke also just seems to becoming a part of life. As i sensitive and heartfelt as i can be at times, i sure struggle at other times to comprehend what is age appropriate or to what sort of crowd i am speaking with

The two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Confidence is good and not necessarily prideful.

Maybe it is and i don't see it and confidence is dangerous because it can so easily turn into self-glorification and pride but it is so good when done properly
Growing up i was a leader on the basketball court. As i got into high school, the coach took me out of my style of game and made me start to doubt myself. I never developed my game because i wasn't confident enough to trust myself to drive or take the shot. I am not blaming it all no the coach, but even now, i look down and like the guy on the court who is confident to take the shot when he knows his open compared to the guy that sits there wideopened in doubt until he someone guards him and he has to pass the ball off.
I was also not confident in my singing. I didn't want to be that person who sung way too loud, had to hit every harmony, and dominated everyone else during church... The person you are sitting next to thinking, "Settle down a little bit" and "This isn't a show, don't feel like you have to harmonize and sing crazy notes everywhere." It was just distracting. So i grew a passive breathy voice that would hit the notes but never was too domineering. Well, I took voice lessons one semester in college and the teachers main focus was making me sing confidently. Now i sing with boldness even though i don't have the best voice, but it sounds so much better than when i just got by.
It is amazing how your fear not to be prideful can hold you back from reaching your potential
It is also amazing how your lack of knowledge or "know how" can do the same. In basketball it was finish my shots. In singing it was not hearing that i was off key and breathy.
If we misunderstand confidence for pride or vanity, we will miss out on maximizing our potential and being someone who is a better asset to others as well as yourself.

More on this Later

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Why Do young adults hate the church?! WHy i love the church.

Why do young adults hate the church?
I have expressed a few times lately that, "I love the church" and it seems to be such a breath of fresh air to pastors.
why is everyone so surprised when a guy in his 20's says that?!

Are we really that cynical, skeptical, and indifferent about church in my generation?!?
What i love about church:
It helps you build community-
You would do that if you were outside so why not start where you can find people with the same heart and passion

It is a resource-
It is such an easy way for people to help and encourage each other

There is power in numbers-

I tried to get a petition going my sophomore year of college but found life a lot more difficult doing it by myself. I needed a team. Also you can't influence a nation by yourself. To really make a major influence you need a team, group, or body of people to make a major impact.

You usually shouldn't help someone come to know Christ without having some way for the new believer to get involved and see what it looks like to live a Christian life. To be taught what that looks like is a lot to carry on one person but to bring them into a community, where it is accomplished together is right.

It is everything i desire in everyday life as a Christian-
So often through the week i wish i had people who wanted to pray with me, to gather together and talk about my questions and issues, where life and God were the center of conversation, where i knew that others wanted to converse over the same topics, to be able to express to God my feelings through a song, to be taught by someone who knows more about the Bible and life.

Just going to church doesn't make Sunday the Sabbath, but it is such a good kick start for making the day different. It makes it so much easier for me to set the day aside as different, as a day of rest and family, when i wake up for church instead of it being like every other day that i sleep in or have an agenda.

By yourself you can get screwed up if you don't have the appropriate people or personalities to stand up and challenge your ways

Hopeful WorldView-

If everyone in your life circle is messed up and hopeless it is easy to begin to think the whole world is that way, but if you hear testimonies and see people thriving and living in victory it let's you see God is at work

Know Your Not Alone-
Along the same lines, sometimes we think we are the only ones striving for Jesus or not getting the whole thing and it is good to find others doing the same.

Reminder: More than learning, i often just need a reminder to stop and pray and rely on him, and remember the things i have already learned. Who better than people outside yourself!

My Aching Heart For the Church:
As so many young people do, it seems to be a yearning for the church to relevant, real, and speak truth in a way that is congruent with my life. Growing up we often deal with the church being too legalistic as we grow from a child to an adult and we are trying to transfer that over as our maturity concept of truth develops from concrete into concepts.
We are an active people, so many have trouble seeing church as only teaching, study, and a requirement. It is for many, something good they feel they should do, yet something they see many problems with. I by no means desire for church to be done away with, but I do desire for most of the churches that i have been a part of to step outside of Sunday church, outside of structured teaching and to engage the culture with new ways to engage people with truth. I know it is being done and even the ideas i would come up with probably have already been tried. But i would say as a whole that there are many people my age like me that think in the back of their heads, "Something... I don't know what, but SOMETHING needs to change." This is where we all differ in our opinions and all get in useless squabbles, but this is my mind.

So Especially for those in my young adults, could you answer these two questions for me?
Instead of what is wrong with church: If you were imagining the place you would just be stoked to go, What would that be? What could church look like?

I would appreciate your comments

Colts Patriots Game

My dad scored tickets to the game on Sunday. It was a great game until the Colts gave up a 10 point lead in the fourth.

I was flabbergasted at how many people were wearing blue!
It was amazingly loud in the dome. Probably one of my favorite parts.
You would think that by now they would've figured better ways to handle the people traffic of exiting the stadium... but they haven't!

It was a great night and weekend.

I was also given an opportunity to share a little of my testimony with Plymouth Wesleyan Church.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

This mornings prayer

God, you know my heart. You know my passions. You know my giftings. You know my desires. You see my steps. You see my attempts to follow you. You see my struggles. Please help me. You can help me find fulfillment. You know why I have my giftings. You know why I am alive today. You know how to turn my failed attempts into worship. You will give me strength. Just help me to never give up following. Help my human frailties to never get in the way of your desires. You are a good God. I rest in your heart to love all, but to lead fairly.

Please, PLEASE, help those in need. Please, PLEASE, help those who can’t find you because they are not in physical need. Please, PLEASE help me not to judge who is worthwhile and who is not in your eyes. Yet, please, PLEASE help me to live by Your character and not by worldly pressures.

Help me to find conviction that I cannot help but to act on, and a faith that will not back down even when I am tempted to doubt. An openness to what is truth, yet at a closed mind to forsaking what I already know to be true. You are God. I am not. Help me not to forget that or to ever try to switch those roles. Although I often envy all that You are, help me never to believe I could do better.

Lord, please continue to guide and to show yourself to me. I give this day to you. Help me never to take for granted the immediate time allotted in front of me. This is the only time I am guaranteed, so help me to be disciplined to look to the future, but never at the cost of living for you now. Teach me to fear You above anything that you have made. Teach me to love you more than I do today.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

What is this whole young adult thing?!? (There is so much more to me)

There is not even a good name for a group for 18-30 year olds who are not in college. We are not students, so we either get put in the young adults or singles category. Neither just seems to do the situation as a single 23 year old justice.
There is so much more to me.

I just went to the Christian book store today and i looked at the Young Adults section and almost every book was on dating as a single. As though, the only next step or advice we need in life at this point is how to get a marriage partner with purity.
There is so much more to me.

I look forward to ministry over the next few years focusing on colleagues and people in this awkward stage. I so look forward to having resources and books on this awkward stage of life and knowingly having a competent voice. I look forward to taking the passions and dreams of people our age and putting frugal feet into action.
There is so much more to me.

I was thinking what i wanted at this stage in life and came up with this list:
1. I long for a group of people that were there just for me. People that i could bring any question or thought to discuss and research my life questions without any fear of judgment or condemnation.
2. I long for an intimate community. A place where my need for support, close friendship, and open desire to pray and discuss my searching questions are welcome. A community where i receive self-worth that formerly came from my immediate family or spouse yet to come.
3. I long for someone to be availabe to brainstorm, dream, discuss, and formulate the next steps of life with me without feeling pressured.
4. I long for a group just to laugh, talk, play, and BE with.
This is a start,
but there is so much more to me.

I can't wait until books line the shelves of people our age. Until there are resources helping us to find God and our next steps. I look forward to possibly writing my own book on a similar topic sometime soon.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Locked In on Halloween!

So last night Dan E. and i went out to Holland Pier to surf since the winds were up! Here is a picture from the webcam. The last time i went the water was 65 to 70, i jumped in and realized it was more than 50 degrees. Woo!

Dan and i got out to leave only to find ourselves cold and locked in on Halloween night. Here is a video below of me in bewilderment

Dan and i got out to leave only to find ourselves cold and locked in on Halloween night. Here is a video below of me in bewilderment

Basically expressing. I'm cold and shaking. We got locked in. And the sun was still obviously up so the park should not be closed.

Well we got out and decided to go trick or treating dressed as surfers and then sat in the hot tub. Good night!