Monday, November 30, 2009

For Those Sick People Who Find Enjoyment Out Of My Misfortune!

Recently hanging out at the Jones' place and accidentally injuring the kids running around the house that conveniently range between my foot and fist height, i decided to revisit a classic post from 3 years ago.

Head basher I was shadowing Rachel Nigro at a mall and she decided to stop right in front of a wall while still facing towards it. I decided it would be funny to follow behind and bump her into the wall, but what i didn't expect was that she didn't expect it and hence her head proceeded to make a big knock and produce a nice bump.

I HIT A LITTLE OLD LADY IN THE HEAD! So in june 2006 me and some friends went to a park to hangout. We decided to play kickball so i ran to the car to get the ball. As i was dribbling back across the field i decided that it would be comical to loft the ball over a decent size bush separating me from my friends and land it on top of them. I successfully shanked the ball 90 degrees... that's okay though because noone saw me... right?!? Wrong. As the ball sailed through the air the wind started to carry the ball in the general direction of couple walking on the sidewalk, seemingly in their 60's or 70's. Oh yes leave it to me, the couple even saw it coming! The woman feebly raised her hands and ducked out of her way to no avail and seconds later i nailed the lady on the top of the head...Great shot... if i meant to do it, but i didn't. The lady stumbled to the side holding her head and despite my constant apologies never smiled or said any cordial "that's okays." Leave it to me! So this whole blog is dedicated to my accident prone life, i hope you enjoy"

+I Nailed a Mom in the Head With A Coke Bottle A mom was visiting IWU from Louisiana and was watching a movie in our school theater. After the movie credits there were just a few people left in the theater and i got ancy so i shot my empty pepsi bottle at a trash can at the top of the seats. I missed and decided to throw the bottle back done to a friend to give him a shot. Once again my bearings were off and the bottle sailed directly to the only other people in the theater and hit a mom straight on the head with the plastic cup in a perfect spiraling motion. once again if only i meant to... instead i walk out blushing and in complete embarrassment
+I Kneed Robin Thada in the Head We were at a friends house three years ago and Robin said she didn't know any self defense. I decided to teach her something i saw once in the movies. I told her if a guy approaches, kick him where it counts. Then when he bends over in reacthion to that grab his head and knee him. Well i am acting this out with Robin. It just turns out when i grabbed her head, she decided to show no resistance to my action and i kneed her hard. Her mouth was apparently open because I heard her teeth clench together.
+Nailed Trace With My Surfboard ONe time when i was learning how to surf i got caught in traces wave and when we both pulled out, my board came up, nailed, and scratched Trace in the Face. 7 Years Ago
+Tore My ACl playing Church League basketball year ago
+Popped a Finger Tendon Playing Catch in the last joint of my middle finger. It just dangled unless it was in a splint. I did it playing catch!... too bad i played receiver for five years of football and never hurt my hands playing. Less than 4 years ago
+Broke My hand Doing a Back FlipAlso one of those humiliating experiences. Not only did it keep me out of basketball, but it was in front of half the cheerleading squad and jr.high soccer team at my high school.
+Hit By Surfboard, Lost Tooth, & Stung by Sting Ray Surfing I tried to do a trick that i wasn't ready for and the surfboard came back and hit me in the face. When i rose to the surface i realized i was bleeding on my face and that i needed to go to shore. I also spit out a tooth and realized i was bleeding in my mouth too. As i was wading in, a sting ray snagged the inside of my foot. Go figure, out of all days, this is the only day that i have ever gone onto shore and been hit on by girls because i was a surfer!
+A Blister From Plunging A Toilet: In High school i had to take it easy one week of football practice because i had a huge blister in the middle of my hand and i couldn't catch well as a receiver. The Reason: I clogged my football coaches toilet one night and couldn't unclog it with his old-school plunger. By the time i finished i had a huge blister on my hand.
+Broke a Friends Finger at youth group playing basketball. I was in jr. high and i accidentally bumped the guy i was guarding into the wall and he broke his finger
+Football Player Sent Away in Ambulance It was an honest mistake. It was a missed field goal and as i dove for the lose ball i pinned the opponent up on his neck. He got a stinger and was taken off the field in an ambulance. Talk about your awkward moment when you feel completely horrible for hurting someone so bad and your teammates are on the otherside trying to give you a high five!
+I have had at least a couple incidents of with driving (all too personal to put on the internet) If you knew you may understand better
Bloody Hug I totally gave Jared Bell a bloody nose trying to give him a hug

Kid Takeouts
Towel Pull- I decided in a moment of sheer brilliance as a camp counselor i decided to pull the towel out from underneath one of the annoying 11 year old boys feet at the beach and sure enough he landed on his head
LampHead thought it would be good to put a kid on my shoulders in front of his parents and didn't note the light straight above us in their house. As i stood he went into it... crying, embarrassment, the whole lot...

I might add more later, but that is all for now. I hope if nothing else, that you may take a little more pride in your life and that yuo may learn to stay away from me if you intend to never be hurt.

The Pastor in Me found a verse today that kind of relates:
"For he who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak. Woe to Him who says to wood, 'Come to life!' Or to lifeless stone, 'Wake up!' Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it." Malachi 2:18-19

The Big Truth Here: One of the biggest truths and advantages we have to offer everyone in the world is that we know we are desperate by ourselves. Sure, we can do okay, but we SURE hope there is something bigger than us, because otherwise our future begins to look very blique, screwed up, and VERY accident prone with nothing to laugh at!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Being the best man

I am the best man in Paul's wedding in a few days, i wonder if this will be me...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dish Washing Therapy

So tonight I washed Dishes tonight for a few hours... It definitely is not my forte, but i actually really enjoyed the opportunity. What i realized from it was that it was hard work but that is why i appreciated getting to do it.

Why? It feels good to be exhausted sometimes when you know that you have given yourself fully to serving and a good cause.

Some of the best days i remember are coming home famished and exhausted after giving yourself fully to a building project and the people on a missions trip or a week of youth camp or something like that.

The danger is if the joyful giving switches from serving to obligation or inescapability.

Processing thought:
Good exhaustion is when you have pushed yourself to the limit and end your work with a joyful servant's heart.
Bad exhaustion is when you have pushed your joyful servant's heart to its limit before the end of your work.
So a key is to working hard to the Lord is to be everincreasing our joyful servant's heart in longevity and limit.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Year Update

Slower Upload but High Quality

This is my year update. Its a large file so it may take a little time to upload, but it is worth hearing the three encouraging stories of different people i have been working with. Thanks.

Faster Upload but Lower Quality

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cult or Cultural Differences? My two cents on Brian Tamaki's article today

To be fair to Brian Tamaki and Destiny Church, I think this must be considered:
I do not feel able to state my stance on Destiny or Brian Tamaki based on my personal lack of knowledge of his actualy ministry being a cult or church.
At the same time, I do believe that the NZ herald article attacked him somewhat unfairly today.

Two initial suggestions from an outsider looking in:
1. Don’t take the NZ herald as always completely objective. I have received a lot of flack for bias news reporting in the US, but it surprised me on the flipside how easily accepting some of my friends were of the NZherald's article and criticism against the church as being objective and not possibly slanted.
2. Don’t underestimate the multicultural setting in NZ. Even though the different cultures have to mix at school and work and in NZ life, people still often underestimate the strong personal differences in beliefs and lifestyle that are determined by their cultural background.
European descent= more industial culture
Maori/Polynesian=more tribal culture
Click to Enlarge

Although this chart does not clear up all of Tamaki’s teachings or sayings, I believe it says a lot. (it may look tedious but its worth the read!) If you realize the writer and probably you as a reader come from an industrial background and that Destiny church seems to be mainly a tribal culture with elements of the peasant culture your opinion might change a little. If you reread the NZ herald article after reading this cultural differences chart, a lot of the issues in question at least partially involve cultural differences and the actions don’t seem so much cultish but rather a different culture that we may not completely understand. It looks to me like the NZherald reporter is criticizing a more tribal culture model based on his industrial point of view.

In light of Destiny Church being predominantly Māori and Polynesian and Māori at heart it is probably coming from a more tribal culture. Do you know what a large church based more on a tribal model would even look like? Whelp, Destiny church just might be it.

Let me pose a few questions:
1. How easy would it be for an nzherald reporter from an industrial mindset to express his cultural point of view against a tribal culture church to a country that has around 78% European descent coming from a predominantly industrial culture?
2. Could it be that there are NZ churches who have formed their beliefs about church and their interpretations of the Bible based from their industrial cultural point of view and projected it universally unfairly to churches around the world or even a tribal church model on their backdoorstep?

No culture is perfect and it is obvious cultures have theological issues, but the rule of thumb in in cultural studies seems to be that no one culture is good, evil, inferior, or superior in and of itself. Its a given that you can’t completely separate yourself from your culture so this doesn’t undermine having an opinion coming from your own cultural point of view, but I do think it brings into question the legitimacy of one judging another culture's way of doing church from your different cultural point of view of God. It would be very easy to work on the assumption that your way is right and that other cultures can't be different and as equally right.

Please once again note that I am not as much invested for or against Tamaki in this conversation as much as the possibly slanted media coverage that is being treated as objective.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random American Observations of New Zealanders

It was fun hearing my parents initial observations about New Zealand:
A few were that:
  1. Kiwis say: "Yea, yeah.." multiple times when agreeing
  2. More Kiwi girls pull off the stylish bed hair look
  3. My dad saw more manicured flowers in public parks than gardens where as my mom appreciated the flowers in personal gardens as regular.
A few things i realized as well:
  1. I am more likely to answer a comment in agreement with a contemplative "mmm..." where as before i would've actually tended to have a verbal response instead of just make a noise :)
  2. I don't think there are really any popular songs written that have "New Zealand or Kiwi" in the actual title of the song outside of "God save New Zealand." (Where as there are a lot of songs talking about america or certain places in it)

Appreciating My Family

I also forget how much fun my family is until i am back around them! My Dad and i got to bungee jump of the harbor bridge which was awesome. Here is my video:

I also just enjoyed laughing and joking around with my parents. I told my mom that i wanted to swim out to this island by the harbor bridge the first day they were here and it became an ongoing joke whether i could make it or not. My dad would do it with me, my mom thinks i will die by ship or shark. :)It was really fun for my parents to meet the Mackays. The mackays have especially been my NZ family since i first arrived so it was fun to have dinner and hangout together.
It was Great having my parents around a couple of weeks ago. It reminded me how much a supportive family means to me and makes a difference.

My Mom: Came in one morning while i was asleep all chipper and said, "Oo.. i get to wake my boy up!" she proceeded to tell me a few huge compliments from different people and it was just a great way to start off my day. I also enjoyed grocery shopping with them the last night. My mom was trying to get me like 6 tomatoes to take care of my grocery needs for life and my dad was the realistic one saying "Reata, he's not gonna eat over two or three before they go rotten."
Gotta love and need both of these people in your life.

My Dad: Is just awesome. He was great at meeting people and joking around. I also received feedback from the local pastors here saying that he had some really good insights about the churches and that he was rather on to it. It is always fun to hear his thoughts and observations because he is always watching his surroundings and taking in the random animals, plants, hidden places, and how the businesses and people work. Apparently he was the main entertainment for the WIF board that came over as well.

It was really good for them to just see where i live and to be able to connect faces and names now. so good.
Jennifer and Kelly: I miss these two and need to talk to them asap. Sorry, sisters, love you and can't wait to talk. Anyways, both of them had hearts for the Lord and led by example in a way that made me want to follow. Also, although they were embarrassed of me as a boy sometimes, they were always proud of me as their brother and believed in me as an athlete and person which really made a difference.

Last Week This Week: A Big Week!

Last 2 Weeks:
Parents Visit-
It was so encouraging and good to have my parents around for a week during their visit. It was very refreshing and just all around enjoyable.
ATC Trainme-
These 14-16 year old guys are continuing to open up during this hour slot Paul, Ben, and I have with them. This week we had 4 of the guys express interest in going to our Christian summer camp. Don't know if it will actually happen, but what an incredible connection and breakthrough if even one guy does! I have yet to get a picture of them, but will do this soon.

This Week:
Equip Youth Leaders Seminar-
This weekend is the annual Wesleyan leader equipping conference. I have different responsibilities of teaching a seminar and setting up a few other logistics.
Half Marathon-
Me and four others from cession|community are running a half-marathon this weekend. It will be the first half marathon the four others have ever run and it will be a great experience to share and conquer together!Flying to Christchurch-
Through a few really cool connections it turns out that next Mon-Wed i will head down to Christchurch. This idea of this Christchurch planting is where the whole idea and calling of New Zealand first started with me. I have no clue as to what God actually wants to teach me through this trip as to whether it is a future opportunity or simply a growing experience but your prayers are appreciated.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Parents Visiting!

My parents made it safely to New Zealand!

So I got to spend a few days with my parents this last weekend, they have been away a few days, but now i have a couple more days when they return thursday afternoon from being in Rotorua a few hours southeast.

My Dad was entertainment as usual.
Here he is getting a picture with the grounds keeper because he liked his tattoo.
I actually embarrassed my dad before this picture doing the haka (its a rare occasion when i get to embarrass my dad)
My Dad hunting seagulls. (gotta love it)
Me and the Parents after sunday lunch.

Are Aucklanders really that bad at merging?!

I mean i figured something like this would be self-explanatory, but i could be wrong...

Hanging out with People

ATC Trainme
For those praying for this first meeting with the guys in the alternative education, thank you, it went amazing! Seriously. We spent about a half an hour talking about what it meant to "put yourself in others shoes" and to see things from their point of view. Then we spent a half an hour playing rugby with the guys. It was a great balance and chance to build good relationships. (You know how us guys are sometimes, we probably grew closer and bonded more in the half an hour of not talking and just running around than we will in the entire time we talk together the following 5 weeks!)
Sorry, no pictures yet but soon.

Youth Group
Here is a picture of the cession youth after rock climbing on Monday night. Paul to the right is the youth pastor and Rachel in the purple is the girls' leader.
After Church Hangout
This is a group from cession eating at Denny's after church. I love times like this.
Yes. New Zealand has Denny's as well and it is the only restaurant really open after 9pm outside of pubs and McDonalds drive thru. :)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Two big updates and Prayer Requests for next weeketo

Mentoring Begins

This next Tuesday at 10am, Ben, Paul, and I

(ben and family)


will conduct our first actual lesson with six train me boys in alternative education. This is

probably one of the biggest breakthroughs I have been able to lead and be a part of being over here. Not only is it a chance to teach “the trouble youth” of auckland about life and God for an hour a week, but it also connects our church (cession) to this part of the local community in a way that Brett and the church have been working and praying towards for a few years now. Awesome to see how God works.

My Parents are Coming!

Ollie and Reata fly in this Saturday for a week here in Auckland. The trip is business related but I should get to spend 4 or 5 days with them and introduce them to friends which is really exciting!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A Normal Day for me here in New Zealand

I put this video together for those of you who wonder what my daily schedule roughly looks like...
And I seriously apologize if you were expecting something different! hahaha

Friday, September 18, 2009

Some New Undertakings

Some of the consistent things that i will be giving my focus and free time now that my master's is done are:

Supporting cession|community more:
Cession is a great church with a lot of fun people, and this is a first impressions team dinner where i laughed til it hurt. It will be good to see this place continually reach out and grow not only in numbers but its depth as it continues to shape.


I have the opportunity to meet with about 6 boys from an alternative education program between 13-16 years old to share life lessons with a Christian slant. Basically, this these guys last chance at school because they have been removed from the public school system due to some of their bad choices or mistakes and this is there last chance to return back to those schools, continue through alternative courses, or hopefully transition into a job. It is through ATC Train Me and you can read the first 6 week trial course starting up in two weeks here: Pilot Course
I would love your help or feedback if you have any on revising this since it is a work in progress.

Becoming Domesticated: Cooking and Mowing

Living in the new place has brought on some new fun. I decided i need to get better at cooking so i am looking at making Thursday nights an open meal where i cook and have people come over to just hangout or teach me a new recipe or something new about cooking if they feel so inclined.

Also, i tried out a new lawn mowing tool here in New Zealand. I always used a weed wacker back home but here people use an edger sometimes. I feel like i look like a complete idiot when i try and use this, but i decided i had to give it a go and i am okay being the neighborhood entertainment. Here was the final product:

Help out with National Wesleyan Church where i can:
Since the Wesleyan churches are still young and expanding. There are so many openings that can be filled as to youth pastor roles, volunteering, and improving our summer youth camp called Ignite. I will continue to serve where ever and however i can.

My perspective has changed a little bit on this one. I definitely have avenues where i am meeting new people constantly and trying to get them connected and involved with church, but more and more i am looking to support local people who are doing this more. Not knowing how long my stay in New Zealand will be after this term, it is essential that i am not building up just my "own" friendships, but that my friendships and connections are connected to other local friends and people in the church so that longevity and consistency in one's spiritual journey and walk happens.

Adventure mainly comes from Activity

I was just thinking this morning that most of my adventures have come from being active or around other active people.

Two nights ago a guy named Ryan Thorpe was mentioned. Basically the description given of this guy is that when he is around, you always end up randomly going out and having a good time.

Yesterday, Paul Milbank and I went out for a surf on our day off and i found that the adventure made itself as we simply put ourselves out there by just being active and going.

This doesn't mean that other people's lives are less interesting or adventurous if they don't live how i live, but simply to say, if you're in need of an adventure, it always helps for you to make something happen or put yourselves around people who are.

These are pictures from Stockade Hill. If you live in the Pakuranga or Howick area and never get up there, that's a sin. Not literally... but you definitely have a great view and an amazing place to visually pray over your community and just find God in a place of serenity right under your noses.

Also, i just love the landscape of New Zealand.

Rough Few Weeks

If you noticed i haven't been blogging a lot the past month, you're right. I thought finishing my Master's would make me more productive, but i had the reverse effect at the beginning.

Nothing devastating or absolutely horrific has happened over the past few weeks, but it has just been a rough patch of trying to figure out what my new routine will look like with the new free time and mental focus. Plus i think i just went on internet shutdown a little.

It is interesting though. I was talking to a friend whose mom had me on her heart and had been praying for me specifically over the past little bit. Amazing how God works like that. Thanks for all those that continue to support me through prayer and encouragement.

But i am doing good and in a good head space and feeling encouraged as of late which is crucial since there are so many really awesome opportunities just laying in front of me.

Before i move completely past it,
My Last Paper that i had to turn in was on The Gospel in Culture(you can read it here). It is long, like 20 pages, but I think it would be a helpful read if it sounds interesting since i learned a lot in the process of even just writing it and the reading quotes from other people. It also includes short quotes from Brett Jones and Frank here in New Zealand!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Camp Promo Video that the teens Made!

This last Weekend some of the nz youth group teens shot and edited this Promo video
It would be AWESOME for you to actually go on youtube and watch this video and give it a good rating there to encourage the teens. Thanks.

Also, i will be in charge of the media for camp this year so you will be seeing different ways i am investing in this youth camp in the future to help since it is a big part of helping move the youth groups and church movement forward here in New Zealand.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Questioning the gender

there has been all this news about them questioning the girls feminity on the news lately...

What i wonder is why people are questioning people like this guys masculinity instead!

This is all in good humor, i actually think this guy is scarily talented honestly.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Different View of Things

I find the differences interesting between living in the US and New Zealand.
A recent article in the NZ Newspaper read:
It seems more common for the NZ newspapers to scrutinize over bigwigs' spendings like where the Prime Minister spends his vacation, what flight seats government officials sit in, etc.

This might simply be the fact that i read the paper over here, because i know there was a public criticism of owners flying their personal jets to meetings during this economic crisis, but i guess i kinda smirk in amusement at titles like this one above and think:

I think i would've probably heard more a US report of admiration of how rich this guy was, the hard work he has put in, and the wonderings of how others of us could be that way rather than a feel of tyranny about the man's salary. Otherwise, i am not sure it would've even made news as a big deal, since it seems the big guys are obviously just going to get paid more.

I haven't dived into the article, but yes, this man get paid A LOT! More than i can imagine anyone ever needing...

But i guess i can see both points of view: I feel like the easy Christian argument is often "accumulating wealth=bad and living economically=good" but i am not sure it is that simple.

I feel like i could state almost if not as good of a biblical case for accumulating wealth that is spent wisely and generously as i could for living sparingly without ever accumulating much.

As for me, i guess i have just assumed i will never have to deal with the problem of too much wealth as a pastor, honestly.

As for this guy, this may be a case of total greed or not, i don't know how the man personally spends that money.

i just found it to be a great springboard to discuss the tension i feel living between these 2 cultures.

Balding at 25: Sad Days...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I am officially a Master of God

I mean that is what a Master's of Divinity actually means, right?!?

I haven't gotten my final grades yet, but I turned in my last official assignment yesterday as long as i get passing grades. How Sweet is that!
3 Things that are Huge about This:
1. I have my dad to thank for encouraging and supporting me in making finish my masters possible.
2. I have been blessed to be constantly poured into and i am excited to pour into others.
3. This is the first time since i first started having to balance a job and university in 2002 that i feel like i can give my undivided attention to the task of solely ministry over the next year!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What does it mean to be Catholic

A Hindu acquaintance mentioned he was interested in girl who said she was Catholic, and since he had just found out i was a Christian he asked me, "What does Catholic mean?" He had no idea what mass was and lost interest after about 3 or 4 sentences since it was just a casual conversation.
What would you say?
I have to admit, i am embarrassed in my thinking that i don't think i did the situation justice with my answer. My mental dilemma was I didn't know whether to start with the differences about Catholic and Protestant which seems to be my usual approach or to describe more the positive similarities and possibly the gospel.
I started off describing Mass, or a more traditional and formal worship service.
I then for whatever reason mentioned the Pope and the idea of the papal bul which has led to differences in belief about Mary's sinlessness... (don't think it was necessary)

I could see i was losing him so i came around to an all encompassing statement:
"They believe in God and in Jesus Christ as the answer to the world's problems." (i was kicking myself for such a disjointed answer but happy i at least ended it there.

It is amazing how wide of a range of conversations i have about God from these inquiries to how to forgive when someone doesn't want to to what was Paul's actual point in writing Galatians :)

Good times.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Give you a few glimpses into my Australian and US Home Visit

I went to Hillsong Conference 09 in Sydney Australia

This is some of the random fun in Australia after the conference.

If you have ever wondered what it looks like to surf on a big lake...
this is Evy and Tash on a smaller clear day in July on Lake Michigan when i first arrived in the US

I didn't get a lot of footage but these were the videos i did have from the Family trip to North Carolina

It was mentioned that i didn't have any videos of Kylan. Sorry... but here's a picture. He made a great beach bum sleeping in the heat of the beach.

The Day before heading back to New Zealand we got to play basketball with my friend Taylor at my dad's church gym. This was the deciding game and my dad hitting the game winning three over my brother in law Brandon. Nice. I think my victory dance was rather modest, don't you?!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Bromance and awkward Turtle...

If you get a chance check out this article from USA Today (Click here).

Its Funny. It is discussing the UCLA (the University of Southern California) slang that is common today at least in the USA or at UCLA and other college campuses.

These were some of the main words from the article:

Awkward turtle: Comment made in an awkward situation, normally not addressed to the one causing the awkwardness.

Bromance: Extremely close platonic friendship between two males.

Epic fail: What a mistake! What a failure! Oops!

Fro-yo: Frozen yogurt.

Man crush: Guy that a guy believes he'd have a crush on if he was a girl or gay.

Sister from another mister: Very close female friend who resembles a close sibling in feeling

Skrilla: Money

Spit game at; spit some game at: To flirt with (someone), try to get (someone) interested in you.

My dad found this in the newspaper a week ago and it was funny getting to explain to him what the awkward turtle was or why the word bromance makes me smile. : )

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sometimes California seems like a dream...

Watching my friends on facebook going to the fair and surfing and on boats and everyone in their bathing suits looking fit and tan in California seems like a dream sometimes. When you live in it, it just is... You love it, but you don't think much of how different you are from others. From the other side, i am not hurting, but sometimes i look at the pictures and places and just wonder or dream of what it would be like to be back in certain places again...

Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19

I am look into making a trial podcast where i can weekly put out a thought or lesson that i have been working on.
This is a trial clip following up a study i did on a sermon on the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19 awhile ago.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

David Riley was a Good Man

This was crazy for me to hear that a football buddy from my class past away on July 26, 2009. David Riley was loved which is obvious by the comments on facebook and the support i am sure his family is getting back at home. I just wanted to take a few moments to remember who he was to me since i couldn't be at the service.
David Riley was always Smiling
One Thing i remember about David was that he did not make an extremely tough football player on the surface because he smiled too much. I am much the same way so i appreciated watching him. He definitely fit in with the cool crowd and was tough, but i remember never being that intimidated because you would see him running around laughing about one thing or another.

David Riley had a good Heart
I have not talked to David a lot since graduation, but in the last few months i told him how i was in New Zealand as a missionary and he responded in a manner similar to, "That is awesome. Taking the world for God in a Brent fashion." We didn't have a lot of deep spiritual discussions, but i would never question David's heart for loving others.

David Riley was Accepting
Like i mentioned earlier, David fit in with the cool group when he wanted to. That is why i was surprised one day when he decided that a few songs from my gospel cd "Kirk Franklin presents 1NC" were cool. I liked the music but i thought it was one of those dorky personal likes. All i remember is it either blaring from my car or his at the Jack in the Box parking lot on 2nd street in El Cajon and David saying that he liked the music with a huge grin on his face! :) Then i remember him dancing really quickly to it through one of our portable cd players in the locker room before a Friday night football game. Good times.

David was someone I respected for sticking to what he Loved
Even just writing about David is bringing a big smile to my face. I loved the fact that the football team seemed to hate on the sport of soccer and that David played both... and played both well at that. Their talk never seemed to phase him and the things that he loved.

David was just an awesome guy. He was great at meeting people where they were at and David was also great at just having a good time.
"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones."
Proverbs 15:30

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hillsong Conference 09 Joel Olsteen & Lakewood Service (Pt3)

For my friends who are extra interested about how the Joel Olsteen service went. Thursday night Hillsong gave over the complete service over to Joel, Gloria, and the Lakewood Worship Team. This if the first time they have done this with anyone at the Hillsong conference.

I tried to get a picture with Joel Olsteen for my friends back at Cession, but security was tight and this is the best i could manage!!!

As expected:
Joel Olsteen being overly positive but I was also impressed and admiring of his purpose in trying to be a healer/restorer

I was a bit embarrassed of the production feel to their service. Hillsong is amazing at exhorting and engaging the audience where this felt more like the show. Where both churches have amazing musicians, this service seemed to showcase it more.

There was a lot more "you" empowerment talk than throughout the rest of the conference and it was not the same emotion/prayer of hillsong. It was extremely positive and around self empowerment.

I wasn't sure, but there seemed to be times where Joel was close to preaching a slot machine God where you can make God do certain things by your actions...

Joel and Gloria's delivery style was more Declaring/Telling instead of Exhorting/Teaching

It was definitely not the same as Hillsong and I am not sure whether Hillsong Conference will do something like that again because i hurt mixed reviews from my friends:
  1. One friend walked out because she was laughing at how ridiculous Joel's proclamations were and didn't believe that it coincided with the heart of Hillsong at all.
  2. Another friend felt like he spoke to her in his own way
  3. The crowd as a whole was very respectful of his time by especially cheering and clapping him on and off.
My end impression: Definitely not my style of ministry and definitely extreme in his style of teaching, but i really appreciated Joel's take on wanting to be a restorer and healer. I wouldn't consider him the most balanced or well rounded preacher by far, but i had to wonder whether or not i should appreciate him more for a more positive part of the Body of Christ that he may bring.

Here were my notes from Joel Olsteen's quips throughout the night:

"Don’t magnify the problem magnify our God"
"Never say we won’t have problems but the bigger your problem the bigger your destiny"
Ie. His mom had cancer but put up pictures of herself when she was healthy around the house to give her hope.

life follow your thoughts… so enlarge vision

One guy Joel ran into the midst of turmoil said “I’m too blessed to be stressed”

"Start every morning as thought it needs to be a new beginning"

ie. You water a Chinese bamboo plant for 4 years without seeing results, but its making roots then it can grow up to 80ft in the next year.
It’s not what you have but what you do with what you have

You wouldn’t be breathing today unless God had another victory for you in the future

Prov 15:13
Joel mentioned he’d talk a little more than get to his sermon
Everyone laughed thinking that it was a joke… but he was serious!!! ☺

"You're never closer to God than when you’re helping hurting people"

Encourage one another Good Samaritan. Are you willing to trade places?
Ie. Joel encouraged a stressed out waitress doing a poor job who broke down crying because her child was in the hospital and she couldn't concentrate
“There’s usually a good reason why someone is not up to par”

Prov 15:4 Gentle tongue brings healing
"I want to live my life as a healer"

Jim Baker- The Graham's loved him back into holiness by associating with him and inviting him back to church upon his church release.
"A true friend walks in when everyone else walks out"

Joel wants epitaph to say: "That man was a healer. That man was a restorer."

Joel said he would prefer preaching: Christianity light vs Christianity Heavy
Matt 11:30 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Hillsong Conference 09 One Liners (Pt 2)

There is a lot here, but it is a really interesting read!!!

Hillsong ONE-Liners
• Your greatest Weakness may be God’s Greatest Strengths. –Craig Groeschel
• Preaching is telling a story but telling a story isn’t necessarily preaching –Craig Groeschel
• Be Yourself. Lead how you are supposed to… how God has created you to. Brian Houston & Joel Olsteen
• To reach people that noone is reaching you have to do things other people aren’t doing – Craig Groeschel
• Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it. So instead of saying “and” say “or” - Craig Groeschel
• How many can come up with $100,000 by Friday? What if your child is going to die and he needs a $100,000 shot to survive? What happened, you just got passionate! -Craig Groeschel
• God guides by what he provides BUT God also guides by what he withholds. –Craig Groeschel
• Your limitations could be your biggest innovations -Craig Groeschel
• Failure isn’t an option it is a necessity -Craig Groeschel
• If people around you don’t have “it”, maybe it is because you don’t have “it”. -Craig Groeschel
• “I became a fulltime pastor and part time follower of Christ” -Craig Groeschel
• You say, “I don’t know how to get “it” back!?! I reckon if it was pretty easy you would’ve done it already. -Craig Groeschel
• Don’ say my wife burned too and I know what you are going through… that doesn’t make me feel any better…. SAY: I have been through similar experience and God was my comfort –Robin
• Psalm 108 singing is not a suggestion but an instruction -Darlene Duchess
• Peter- steps out in faith and fails… calls out to Jesus. He did that with a little faith, Imagine what he would do with a lot!!! –N/A
• The Doctor said I had prostate cancer and I asked him what were the chances he could have assessed the situation wrong. He said, “statistically about 1%.” Ian replied “….well that’s good because I have always been in the top 1% of whatever I do!” -Ian Woods
• I don’t know that I’ve ever found the exactly right person to hire…EVER! –Brian Houston
• If always looking outward always going to be dissatisfied with what you have. -Brian Houston
• Lead and guide don’t govern and control –Mark Ramsey
• If you’re too weak to put the platform up, then you’re too small to stand on it! – Mark Connor
• Success- is you reaching your God given potential instead of having bigger church than the guy next door. –Mark Connor
• Definition of Passion- the degree of difficulty your willing to endure to accomplish the goal –Louie Giglio
• The last word of Acts 28:31 means “unstoppable.” -Jentezen Franklin
• Faith is spelled R.I.S.K. -Jentezen Franklin
• I prayed and asked God, “God, why are you so hard on me in this life? Because your mother is so hard on me!!!” –Jentezen Franklin
• In regards to David and Goliath- God says -I’ll never send you into a battle with a giant with not only enough but more than enough to conquer this. -Jentezen Franklin
• A Leader’s Constant Companion: Pain –Craig Groeschel
• Bird flying south for winter but late for journey so got caught in ice storm that pierced his body and came in for crash landing but snow and ice kept coming and was encompassing him and freezing him. surrendering to death. Cow walked by and stood right on top of him. Then dropped manure and pooped on him. Worst thing ever not only going to die by with this poop, but the warmth was freezing the bird from the snow… started tweeting with joy then a cat heard the tweeting and came and at the bird. Dead. 3 Morals to the story:1. Not everyone who drops manure on you is your enemy 2. Not everyone who digs you out is your friend 3. When you are in deep manure keep your mouth shut
• Could it be that the difference between where you are and where God wants you to be is the pain that you are unwilling to endure? –Craig Groeschel
• The higher you go, the more devils you will face –Joyce Meyer
• Put a dozen crabs in bucket and they won’t escape because when one starts to get out the others will pull him back down. Craig Groeschel
• If you follow Jesus you are going to be persecuted, If your not hurting your not leading. Craig Groeschel
• Quickest way to forget what God thinks about you is to become obsessed with what other people think about you!!! Craig Groeschel
• Why is it that a businessman will make the hard decision of firing someone for money but we are not willing to make the right decision in the church for God… How much more serious is it for someone to hurt the Body of Christ by being in the wrong place? –Craig Groeschel
• God said to me “Don’t blame yourself for the declines because if you do you will be tempted to take credit for the increases” –Craig Groeschel
• There is more in you. Step through the pain. There is more in you.
• Do you have a vision that would inspire culture? –Brian Houston
• Delegate tasks and create followers. Delegate authority and create leaders -Craig Groeschel
• Don’t magnify the problem magnify our God- Joel Olsteen
• You water a Chinese bamboo plant for 4 years without seeing results, but its making roots then it can grow up to 80ft in the next year. –Joel Olsteen
• You wouldn’t be breathing today unless God had another victory for you in the future. Joel Olsteen
• “There’s usually a good reason why someone is not up to par” –Joel Olsteen
• I want to live my life as a healer. I want people to say at the end of my life: “That man was a healer. That man was a restorer” –Joel Olsteen
• A true friend walks in when everyone else walks out
• Jn 1:14 Messages “God sent himself in the flesh, surely the church can! –Dianna Crouch
• I pray: “God bring the right people to us and weed out those who shouldn’t be.” –Joel Olsteen
• You only have so much emotional energy. –Joel Olsteen
• My passion: Empowering people to become all that they’ve been created to be. Joel Olsteen
• In regards to Discouraging Comments: “Everyone is right to have their opinions. If you listen to them though you start preaching defensive… I preach like everybody loves me!!! -Joel Olsteen
• Leadership is following Jesus. –Louie Giglio
• Jesus didn’t create us to do anything greater that to fall in love with Him –Louie Giglio
• I want a story that can’t be told and broke down into intricate detail… it was just God. Louie Giglio
• Do you know you are not the Christ? When someone asks you who you are, what is your response?
• Passion staff often prays: “Dear God, save them from us and give them you” –Louie Giglio
• NOTHING more tiring than trying to be the I AM. I know I AM NOT- it hurts because it drives a dagger right through self!!! –Louie Giglio
• “I AM not but I know I AM.” –Louie Giglio-
• There are about 4 million churches in world and 8 million people in slave trafficking. Two slaves to every church… What is the church going to start doing about this?- Louie Giglio
• How to avoid a spiritual Hangover is to stay drunk on the Spirit; Stay under the influence. Based on Acts 2:13
1. 1st way to tell a drunk is by the way they talk
2. Only way to endure a drunk is to get drunk with them
3. A drunk is never far from a binge
4. When drunk ugly things start looking pretty
5. Drunks have no feelings
6. Drunks have no pride
7. Drunks never like to drink alone
8. Drunks talk a lot; they never shut up
9. A Drunk will give you the shirt off his back
10. A Drunk loves everybody
11. Drunks love to fight
12. A Drunk will do anything to get a Drink -Jentezen Franklin

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hillsong Conference 09 Summary (Pt1)

This is What you have all been waiting for!
Here is my 3 part series on Hillsong Conference!!!
It was held in Acer Arena
Here is the view from the top

Hillsong Speakers:
(Click on picture to enlarge)
Joel & Victoria Olsteen- Pastors of the largest and fastest growing US church with 40,000+ attendees
Israel Houghton & Lakeword Worship Team (Joel Olsteen’s church)
Craig Groeschel- Founder and Sr. Pastor of
Jentezen Franklin- Sr. Pastor of Free Chapel Worship Center
Louie Giglio- Teacher through Passion and now pastor
Chris Tomlin- Musician
Brian & Bobbie Houston- Sr. Pastors of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia
Darlene Zschech- Worship leader and pastor at Hillsong Church
Hillsong United & Brooke Fraser- Praise and Worship Band
Christine Caine- Speaker
Donna Crouch- Executive Pastor over Hillsong CityCare
Joel A’Bell- Works alongside the Houston’s with Hillsong campuses
Delirious (Web Streaming)- to say goodbye and thankyou as their time as a band is ending

The Conference Breakdown:
(I took notes on all of these so let me know if you want more on a certain sermon or all of my 15 pages of notes!!!)
TUESDAY: Unshakeable
NIGHT Session: “It” Craig Groeschel

WEDNESDAY: Unshakeable Faith
1. ROBIN- Wife burned badly
2. DARLENE DZECH- Miscarriage
3. Guys son ANDREW died of cancer
4. IAN WOODS healed of cancer
Brian Houston and leaders on “Selecting and Releasing the Right People to break Growth Barriers”
NIGHT Session- Jentezen Franklin
1.Jesus is with me 2.God is at the bottom 3.I Have Faith For This

THURSDAY: Unshakeable Hope
MORNING Session- Craig Groschel- A Leader’s Constant Companion: Pain
AFTERNOON Session- Brian Houston
Creating a Culture that Facilitates vision
AFTERNOON Session- Interview Giglio
NIGHT Session- Joel Olsteen "Being a Healer with Words" & Lakewood Service

FRIDAY: Unshakeable Love

MORNING Session- Jentezen Franklin: Drunk in the Spirit
MORNING Session 2 Dianna Crouch: Going Good Samaritan
MORNING Session 2 Joel Olsteen Interview
AFTERNOON Session: Louie Giglio: I AM not but I know I AM
NIGHT Session: Louie Giglio- It’s Time to go out

ENGAGING- I was impressed with how Hillsong did corporate worship. It didn't feel like a performance but more like worshiping and engaging together. (CAUTION: I took a lot of pictures that make it look like a production, but when you are there it doesn't feel like it or isn't encouraged to be from the stage)
HUMBLE- Impressive Humility: The "screen time" was shared as different music leaders led different songs so that it was not about one person ie. Brook Fraser- a great and popular musician led one song and the rest of the time was more in the background just helping lead instead of it being about her. They talked money and products but always in terms of people, heart, and strategy so it never felt like they were trying to sell me something for profit

NERVOUS LEADERS Most leaders said that they were worried/nervous/insecure about preaching and leading at the beginning of ministry. It was good to hear these people are real human beings.
TV View- At Acer Arena most people were probably looking at the screens. (estimate) 75% watch screen and 25% watch person on actual stage. Interesting take when you choose what to show… (different level of service ministry)
PARTICIPATION- You really decide whether to receive, participate, engage, and be open to the music and messages or whether you would rather watch and disassociate
SPIRIT OF PRAYER- There was a real spirit of prayer around the time we were led in music
I appreciating Hillsong's exhortation and humble spirit. If other people were touched or connecting with God through prayer in the same way I was, then that was definitely a house of prayer.
GLORY OF GOD FOCUS- There was constant mentioning of the "glory of God"
PREACHING- Lively/joking/emotional/highs and lows. I am usually skeptical about preachers that encourage you to say stuff, but i found that when some of these speakers did encourage me they were encouraging a response that was already inside of me but i was too lazy or unsure of how to respond out loud.
VISION- I loved the vision of these guys (Giglio, Houston, Groschel, etc.) You can just feel the passion in their words and stories and proclamations. I Need to get a little more excited… dare I say passionate about what I am preaching.
Church Culture Shock- It was crazy going from the lively Hillsong Conference to a very somber reverent Chrysalis service to a small but anointed Lismore church worship service. Just crazy to go through completely different styles and sizes of worship services in a matter of 2 days.
SEEING FRIENDS It was awesome! I saw all my friends amongst 20,000 people the first night without contacting them: Leon, Lena Jean, Kim, and Jake.
They had a section reserved on the floor for Power House- The Young adults ministry to "bring the energy" and to just "go all out"
The Last night they Brought in the teens for a combined service

I had to take the train in everyday
This is the walk from place to place