Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Afterwards we went over to the Russell's house for some hot chocolate and witnessed the biggest hot chocolate domino spill I've ever seen. One person bumped something that spilled chocolate on the coffee table which led to another person jerking their arm because they were startled and spilling it on another person who knocked over another drink (so on and so forth) until half of the students their had been affected by the spill. Unfortunate...memorable...but unfortunate. Thank God for carpet cleaner and towels...oh, and microfiber furniture!
Friday, December 26, 2008
What Andy suggests seems very simple, but I would DEFINITELY suggest this book to anyone doing public speaking. I did Ken Davis' Dynamic Communicators Workshop, and that was very helpful, but this gives you a strategy for becoming that better communicator from preparation through presentation.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
This Christmas I will be spending some quality time with my family...a little bit of sledding, snow shoveling (what, you don't do that for fun with your family?), hanging out with Mocha, FOOD, The Nutcracker Story...then a good NAP, and finally some games with some friends from Valley Christian and probably more FOOD.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
At that concert we showed a video that a friend from Fargo helped us put together! We are very thankful for his expertise!
Not a creature was stirring, not even...
Last night when we were doing our, very late, last minute Christmas shopping we saw this dog sweater and decided it was time for Mocha to start celebrating the holidays in style. It doesn't seem to faze her and we all think she looks cute in it, so she may be wearing it the whole Christmas season!
Monday, December 15, 2008
..."let's pack up and move to California..." :-)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
- Is bilingual.
- Doesn't like popcorn.
- Doesn't like trimming the (Sam inserted "evil") hedge in our backyard.
- Likes to wear a dress shirt/sweater, dress shoes, and JEANS on Sundays.
- Reads a lot: to fall asleep, to do schoolwork, to learn, for pleasure...he reads a lot.
- Makes me drive on long trips so that he can do his schoolwork and read in the car.
- Is very rhythmic...he always has a beat in his head or his feet, hands, fingers, toes, etc.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
ONE, the inter-church High School and Middle School gathering was tonight. It was great to see the students from other churches I had not seen in a long time!
It's great to be part of a team ministry that crosses denominational lines! Jesus' prayer is that "they will know we are Christians by our love!" and that we would "be one" as the Father and He are one. What a privilege to be part of unifying the Body of Christ to more effectively connect this generation to God by working together!
Will I be able to sleep?
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Last night Sarah and I took my grandparents out to a Wintley Phipps concert that was AMAZING! I was able to hear Wintley at Catalyst last year, so when I got the invitation in the mail I knew right away that it would be an awesome concert. The power of God is very evident when he sings. The youtube video doesn't do it justice, but it will give you an idea of what it's like.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
If you haven't read it yet and you think you might be going through a shaping time, or if you are planning on being in ministry leadership of some kind: read it. If nothing else you'll walk out with some other incredible nuggets hidden in the pages.
Friday, August 8, 2008
2 Corinthians 4:7- But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us (Paul), but life is at work in you.
13It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Painful Preparation Produces: Purity, Productivity, Passion, Power, and New Perspectives.
I've seen it in my life and I would encourage you no matter where you're at in this process: "...that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus!" Don't give up!
Friday, July 11, 2008
I'm finding, like the author of Ecclesiastes, that “nothing changes under the sun.” People are still people and God is still God. He set the perfect example of TRUE leadership in His Son and that is the first place we should look when wanting to define what good leadership is. Lately I have been studying His word with an eye for leadership and I keep seeing that people are writing and rewriting the same principles in the new books that get released, but they've been in the Bible for thousands of years!
Another really cool thing is that the Bible doesn't just show us the life of the perfect leader, but also gives us glimpses of good leaders who made mistakes and of bad leaders who were redeemed in the end (as well as bad leaders that just stayed bad) and we can learn about leadership FROM THEM TOO! Isn't it great when we can learn from those that have gone before us? That's one reason I am really liking Frank Damazio's book "The Making of a Leader." In it he examines the lives of Jesus, Joshua, Samuel, Paul, Elisha, David, Timothy, etc. to find out what God has to tell us about leadership from their lives...very interesting...could it really be that there is nothing new under the sun, but that old principles are simply applied to new contexts?
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Leadership is about taking people or organizations places and management is about handling things (literally mana = hand, anyway). Management is necessary for good leadership because it is what makes possible the execution of the things that move the people or organization forward. In other words, leaders create vision and managers apply it. It could be said that leadership is the process of pointing the direction and management is the process of taking care of the details to arrive at the destination. Jesus challenged His followers to be leaders and not simply administrators with the parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:21-30). He expected leadership (vision to see the possibilities of what to do with the talent) and management (the ability to carry the vision out successfully) to be combined from those given the Talents in His story, but one of the servants thought that he could be safe by simply managing or maintaining the asset he was given and was called wicked for doing so.
Management many times requires a title, but leadership can be done without titles. Leadership can be exerted whether or not there is a title or a managerial position, like David: Even when he was out in the wilderness escaping from Saul and without any earthly authority or title, people came and followed him (1 Samuel 22:1-2). He didn't get the title of king until long after they began following him. On the other side of that there are people wanting the title, or management position, but are not leading people anywhere. Solomon's son Rehoboam, who was not much of a leader, had a title but was led by his group of friends (1 Kings 12:8-11).
We're all learning here! Let's not be like the wicked servant or like Rehoboam!
Monday, June 9, 2008
Tonight we had an awesome time: 2 and a half hours of worship and teaching and then some more worship! God was really working in our hearts. Pat (our local contact), shared a word out of Isaiah 58 (the whole chapter) about appearances...just reading through it is pretty powerful (go ahead click on the link and read it for yourself...this will be here when you come back...you're still here!?! Go read it, it won't take that long...seriously, why are you still reading this and not clicking on the link? :-) ).
OK, now that you read it, you know that God is speaking to the people of Israel there telling them that there APPEARANCE of rightness was not what He was looking for (funny how fitting that is for us today, huh).
Here are 3 points from his message for us to move into the challenge at the end of the chapter (check out the IF'S at the end and the rewards for them!)
1. We need to move from knowing God with our head to also knowing Him with our heart.
2. We need to move from selfish to supernatural lives.
3. We need to go from the EXAMPLE of the Father to the EXPERIENCE of the Father.
Verses 6-14 really get me...hopefully it makes you think too.
On another note: God has already healed a couple of people physically and there have been some amazing conversations and "coincidences" (keep praying for God to move supernaturally through our team)!
Friday, June 6, 2008
Great Birthday so far, thank you to all who called, sent cards, left messages on Facebook. or stopped by to say hi: God has really blessed me with some great friends!!!
Today the Community VBS ended and I tore down our sound system and instruments and put them back up at the church. It was an awesome VBS for the 350+ kids and 150+ volunteers! A lot of very creative people out there doing using all the senses to communicate God's POWER.
Tomorrow I leave for Kansas City with Chris K. and the Montevideo and Fosston churches. I will try to post some thoughts on Russ' message tomorrow before I leave for Kansas City.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
We had a guys' lock-in on Thursday night that Chris planned and that went very well...I didn't sleep but and hour or so on Friday, so that was weird. Then I watched Lost with the Hardies on that little bit of sleep (that probably added to the confusion of the series)...Now we have to wait 'till January for the story to continue unfolding. Fortunately only 2 more seasons.
Today Russ gave his last message on the letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation. It was very good. I'll post some thoughts on that this week. After that we went to Alyssa's graduation ceremony and then I "practiced" on the bike a while, and then Sarah and I hung out...We played Scrabble and she beat me by 1 point! ONE POINT!!! AGH! Anyway, I got some school work done and now I'm getting ready for bed.
I have over 1300 pages to read for the 2 leadership classes I'm taking this summer (now that I think about it that's without the research for the papers...I think I might be leadershiped out by May next year! :-) ), which brings me to the comic that made me think of writing a post...
Tomorrow I'll be working at ONE24 getting ready for some windows to be put in, then I'll be setting up a sound system in a gym for our band to play at the Community VBS that night! Good times!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
As soon as I stop staying up late reading deep books on pain and suffering these blogs will stop...then I'll post about Human Resource Management and Leadership Principles :-) j/k (the 2 classes I'm taking this summer).
Tomorrow, or today I guess, I'll be having a worship practice at VCA, then tag-team preaching with Justin for a ONE24 vision service at Inspiration Church, then buzzing back to my church to lead worship at the end of our service. Catching lunch with the Doeblers and the Spooners, sans Dave :-( and then heading to a friend's Grad Party and off to Fosston, MN to spend Memorial Day with the Tim and Kate (and Grace and Jude)! I should go get some sleep so I can stay awake for it all!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Here are some of the interesting things I've learned from both:
- A different look at Suffering in the Bible:
- The Bible begins with suffering (Job was the first book in the Bible to be written).
- The New Testament begins with suffering (James was the first book in the NT to be written)
- The Bible ends with suffering and then VICTORY in the book of Revelation.
- ...this isn't the goosebumps kind of thing we all think of when we read "I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you not to harm you." Maybe He prospers us by making us better???
- God tests us BECAUSE He loves us (Job had it going on, yet God wanted to take him deeper and there was a deep part of him that needed to change in the process of suffering.)
- It said He was pleased with Job...it was God's idea!
- Sounds sick unless you think of the example of a good doctor who wants to make you better through surgery...which is what happens when we persevere through testing.
- A lot of times you don't realize you're grieving until you've been in it for a while (it took me several months to realize that I was grieving a family and ministry loss)
- Grief clouds your understanding when you're in it.
- Pain and Suffering are part of God's plan of promotion...We all want to be part of the five-fold ministry, but do we really want to go through the fire?
- The test from God and temptation from the enemy are the same event (each of them has a different end in mind...the devil wants to make you BITTER, but God wants to make you BETTER).
- Actually the devil wants to kill you, but if he can get you to give up or avoid the test then he's neutralized you and he won.
- God does amazing things through suffering in our lives that wouldn't be possible without it...it's like a pressure cooker that speeds up the readiness process.
- Until you've suffered, it's really easy to look at outward appearances and judge the cause of others' sufferings (like Jobs friends)
- There's a supernatural release that happens when you bless those who judged or accused you in your testing (like Job at the end).
- I experienced pain, but I have not experienced persecution...
Friday, May 23, 2008
I really enjoyed the book and I learned a ton. I would definitely recommend it if you're leading a business, ministry, or other organization.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
How many years will people come to church or youth group and hear about how important it is to know God and then go home and not spend time getting to know God? It's like there's this system where you're graded based on how much you know about God and you could be winning in it without ever spending time with Him! That's MESSED UP! I just think of the story where Jesus told those who had even done miracles in His name: "depart from me I never knew you." Notice He didn't say you never went to enough Sunday schools or went to enough church services. He didn't even say you didn't know enough about me or do enough good things for me! Not only do we need to know Him, we need to be known BY Him! And that takes time in His presence. So you can't really say you're a Christ-Follower if you don't even know which direction He's going...That's HUGE!
Christianity is not about knowing more about God, but about knowing God MORE and being known by HIM MORE...a constant pursuit, like in a loving relationship, to ever be knowing that person more and being known more. I never think to myself: "I know everything there is to know about Sarah, so I don't need to spend time with her." Or, "I spent time with Sarah the other day, so I should be alright if we don't hang out for a couple of days." That's nonsense! When you love someone and you are aware of how much they love you, you want to be with them as much as possible!
How many of us will be shocked to find out that the lives we thought were Christian were merely religious (like the Pharisees) because we missed the WHOLE POINT!?! God bring us to a place to cry out like Paul: "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his suffering, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead!" Know him even to the point of suffering and death? I think we get to that place when we're into knowing him more and not simply knowing more about him.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Spring is like the best time to PaintBall because it's cool and there aren't any mosquitoes :-) That's it for now.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Joel Holm and Graham Fletcher have had great words about God's plan for each city. God has a word for each CITY...for the church of the CITY! It's an exciting time to be hearing what "God is saying to the church..." like we are reminded to do in Revelation.
God has also been challenging me on other perspectives of life and ministry that I have had or am changing and it has been a very confirming thing about areas that I am seeing need to change in my life and ministry.
I am eager to continue downloading what God is saying to Breck/Wahp AND dare I say...the nations?
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I'm doing a research project on the book of Ephesians and I just saw something I thought I'd share. Several years ago I had noticed the similarities between Colossians and Ephesians, but thought nothing of it and didn't realize there was a huge scholarly debate about them, I just thought Paul had similar things to say to a different church :-) (which seems to be the conclusion I've reached after reading a ton about the debate!)
I thought it was interesting that we are told in Colossians 3 to "put to death" and to "put off" our "old man" and then later it tells us to "put on" or "clothe" ourselves with the "new man" (also in Ephesians 4:24). I just thought it was interesting that in Romans Paul also uses a similar picture to tells us to "clothe" ourselves with "the Lord Jesus Christ." Each of those times there's an exhortation connected with the "new clothes" being different than the old and that we should "put on" the new and "remove" the old..."stop dressing like trash!" Just a reminder for us all, I guess, to stop living like we're wearing the old clothes (or take them off if we're still wearing them) and put on Christ and in so doing put on our new "man" which was created to be like God (Ephesians 4:24)!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Tonight I got back from Radiate and Reader's Digest was sitting on the counter...Well, I finished it, now I can go to bed...last night I read Time :-) I think 4 magazines is all I can keep up with with everything else going on, but it helps me gain from diversified streams of information. I've said it before, I'm not sure who was the first to state this, but "readers are leaders and leaders are readers"...so in working on a degree in leadership and ministry I'm also working on creating the habits necessary to being a lifelong learner...hopefully they stick ;-)
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Yeah, so remind me that 9 credits is a lot next time I consider doing this...which might be next January, so you can remind me in December if you want :-)
If I take 6 credits in the summer, 6 in the fall and 9 in January I'll be done by May 2009!!! ...now that I think of it, that's kind of depressing. I started in 2004 and took the 2005 school year off and I'll end up with about 49 credits for a 42 credit degree...well, I've learned a lot...and I've forgotten a lot too :-0 It's like the new information pushes the old out!
I'm learning a lot, but more than that it's making me want to take classes where that professor taught the video series! There are so many nuggets in his teaching. It's great.
In the last several months I've read some books and I may post summaries later, but here they are in case you're curious to go to amazon and look them up for fun:
- The Craft of Research by Booth, Colomb, and Williams
- An Introduction to the New Testament by D.A. Carson and D.J. Moo (which interestingly enough is at least twice as long as the New Testament...Funny that an introduction would be longer than what it introduces)
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- Fundamentals of Management: Essential Concepts and Applications by Robbins and DeCenzo
- An Introduction to Theological Research by Cyril Barber and Robert Krauss
Now back to my classes.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I just wanted to post something I thought of a while back and you can mull over it, it's simply this: You won't find something worth living for until you find something worth dying for...or maybe it goes both ways...Just a thought.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Later, I hope y'all get a chuckle and don't ever do any of the things in the video.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
It's interesting that in Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus tells His followers to GO...so what we should be asking God is whether we are the exception and we're called to stay...Just a thought. Another way that can be translated is "as you are going..." which, still puts the responsibility on all of us to live missional lives and not just send money to missionaries...we're all called to live Great Commission lifestyles! How cool is that!?! We get to be part of God's plan for the redemption and restoration of His creation! Now that's a life I want to live...living for the eternal and not the temporary. God help me remember that.
Monday, February 4, 2008
:-) j/k...or am I?
One of my core values is relevance, I think it's very important to be culturally relevant (and relevant in other ways too). It may have something to do with my growing up in another cultural and studying cross-cultural ministry in school. It makes tons of sense to anyone for a missionary to be relevant to the culture they are ministering in, but the same applies to us wherever we are or else our message will not be understood.
You've gotta love the fact that Sprint finally made it so that you're eligible to receive all of the discounts as a returning customer after 22 months with your old phone...I know I do...And Sarah got my Treo 700p, so now she won't need a pen and paper ever again either!
Monday, January 28, 2008
Just my thoughts about differences in opinion and how everyone thinks they're right and have reasons why the other person's view is wrong, but it's not possible for them both to be right...sometimes I think that it's more likely for them both to be wrong! :-) There are core truths that I will stand by and not budge, you can read them in Ephesians 4:1-16...if you look for it you can see some of the elements of the Apostles' Creed.
Now that you've taken the time to leave Sarah's more interesting blog and come over here, I might as well tell you that I finished reading God of the Possible, by Greg Boyd before school started. It was definitely an interesting look at Open Theism (as opposed to Calvinism or Arminianism). After reading it I realized that there were a lot of areas where I had caricatured and pigeon-holed the open view of God without hearing their side from one of their most renowned writers. Once again...they think they're right as do the calvinists and arminians! Chances are we're all wrong, so I'm going to go down in history as an Open Calvinian :-) j/k. It's unfair to say that I want to maintain a "Biblical" theology about this, because each one of those views is attempting to do that too. I DO think that God really is bigger than we can imagine and that as soon as anyone thinks they've got Him completely figured out, they're probably wrong because His ways are HIGHER than ours...He really is beyond our comprehension. C. S. Lewis wondered about the possibility and accuracy with which a creation could describe its creator...as created beings we only know what God has made, we can't even comprehend what existing eternally would mean because everything in our experience has had a beginning and an end...because we're created beings...
I wonder why we feel the need to be "right" about everything all the time...it's like it's built into us...could it be an effect of sin on the world? Is it pride? No answers, this time, just questions. I'm gonna go work on my school work :-)
Friday, January 18, 2008
Anyway, I spent all of last night setting up my school schedule for the next 4 months and I actually think I can do it :-) I'm doing a full time Graduate load so that I could get a scholarship for this semester and the summer. I'm taking: Graduate Research, Intro to the New Testament, and Management Principles. This will put me up to 28 graduate credits that I've taken, but to finish this degree at this school (Beacon University) I will need about another 18 credits...I guess I'm about half-way there.
So, I counted how many pages I have to read for these classes: over 1850! Anybody want to come over and read me to sleep at night? Anyway, I'll be doing a lot of reading, hopefully I can get faster too.
So, Sarah was giving me a hard time about not posting, it's been because I've been focused on getting stuff out of the way and lined up so that I can use my free time wisely (like with these studies)...if for some reason you don't hear from me or see me as much as before please understand that it's nothing against you...of course if you're involved with VCA or ONE24 you will be seeing me a lot with those projects still.
Well, I'm heading over to Beacon to introduce myself to my fellow students.
See Ya (is chair in Spanish)