Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Life lessons

like most athletes who compete on a high level, my son has been going through a difficult period of competition, performance, defeat, frustration, disappointment, and confusion. it's just part of the game, as they say.

we talked on the phone and told me that god had reached down and used his difficulties to teach him (again) some of the basic life lessons that we wrestle with every day of our existence...whether we are athletes or wannabes. it happened to come from an unexpected source of truth: espn.

most sports fans are aware of the fate that was dropped on the university of michigan football team the first week of the season. they were beaten by 1-aa appalachian state university in an epic battle that became an instant classic and sent sports writers and fans around the globe looking for a greater upset in the history of sport. i'm pretty sure nobody has found one.

the following week they were beaten, again. this time by a team of their stature, but certainly not of their reputation. come on...oregon makes us think of hippies and rain. unlike the land of the fooball gods in michigan!

needless to say, the coach of michigan has had an onslaught of attacks from the michigan faithful, as well well as every sports pundit this side of vince Lombardi's tombstone. but in the midst of incredible opposition and criticism, lloyd carr has remained solid. in an interview, he said some words that inspired my son to remember some simple principles to live by:
  • Don't blame others.
  • Don't make excuses.
  • Get up and do something.

i don't think i've ever heard a preacher say it better. you know, living the spiritual life isn't really all that spiritual...

on another note, i will be heading to the great land of texas haters for the next week on my yearly journey to the colorado wilderness with boat load of younger youth ministers for mentoring and encouragement. no technology for a week...anybody want to join the "fast"?

one final note...my son is back on top of his game.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday night exhale

i gotta tell you, sundays are no day of rest for me.

it is really good to be tired at the end of the day...the kind of tired you feel when you have had good, meaningful work. that's how I feel.

i am completely indebted to my church upbringing...the good people, the committed sunday school teachers, the traditions that fueled church life in my childhood...but i don't miss the church music of my past.

here, i'm going to tell you something you probably know already: i like loud music. i like loud rock and roll on my ipod. i like loud, energetic worship. i like the driving beats of drums and the creative sounds of electric guitars. i like to feel my music. for me, the volume of the worship draws me to the greatness of god.

everybody doesn't agree with me. i can still sleep at night.

i really want to see people who are far from god come close to him.

i really want to lead a church that wants to see people who are far from god come close to him.

i really want to lead a church that cares more about seeing people who are far from god come close to him...than they do about pleasing people who are already close to god.

i am totally and completely infatuated with the potential of north point becoming a church that really cares about seeing people who are far from god come close to him.

what do you think is the next step for us?

what do you think is the next step for you?

i am so impressed by the commitment and hard work of the college kids who are running underground (our sunday night youth thing).

it is so great to see a room full of teenagers again.

we are getting really close to my favorite day of the year...the first day that temperatures drop and we can break out the sweatshirts!

this was a bad week for my san diego teams. it may be time to break out the lucky underwear.

speaking of sports...the first night of the adult bowling league was a winner. we have ten teams. can you imagine that? 40 adults bowling! sheesh.

i need to get my own bowling ball.

no matter how old i get, i won't ever stop being a dad.

three more days until rubios.

this is going to be a huge week. are you ready for it?

Friday, September 21, 2007

The revolution of the Internet in 1993

this is crazy. can you remember the first time you used email? it blows me away to think where we will be with computer technology in the next ten years! what should it mean for the church? what will it mean for the progress of the gospel?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Different kinds of christians

if you've ever wondered about the difference between different kinds of christians these days, i think this is a pretty good picture...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who would have thought...

first night of the fall adult bowling league...


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday night exhale

i think this is one of those sundays that i'm not going to forget any time soon.

it is an amazing and humbling experience to speak to people about the realities of life and death and struggle and the detours of our life journeys.

as i preached today, i was more aware...more connected to the moment...and feeling more of the weight and responsibility to speak words of life than i normally do. i'm not sure how i feel about that.

every time i preach, i know that i am carrying out a sacred act...one that connects me to thousands of years and hundreds of thousands of god's heralds that have gone before me. it's overwhelming to know that i have the privilege to do something so significant.

to preach to human sadness and loss and to have the opportunity to point people to hope and faith is the greatest experience that a person can have.

today, singing was passionate, emotional, expressive, healing, hopeful, and courageous. to sing words that express what we feel when words escape us is incredible.

i love how our people linger after the service. i love watching the relationships grow.

i think that there is a group of people that are really beginning to connect to our first service. this is great news, because there isn't a whole lot of room left in the second service. this is a good problem.

underground was good tonight. i am so impressed with the heart for ministry that i see in our college young people. they really care about our younger kids. the energy and excitement that the whole group had when they entered the auditorium was awesome.

bowling starts this week. we have forty adults that are ready roll. hah! i think the newbies are going to be surprised. i hope the veterans keep their trash talking to a minimum on the first night.

i'm still a charger fan, but i need to take a short hiatus on my attention to football. the padres are in a pennant race and i think they really need me to focus. besides, watching the new england debacle on tv tonight has left me with a stomach ache.

i'm exhausted from today...mentally and emotionally. it starts all over again tomorrow. peace.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I don't know what's going on

i love reading what other pastors have to say about their lives and their churches. i am challenged, encouraged, frustrated, enlightened, inspired, and sometimes just entertained. i have this one guy that i read pretty often and this week he wrote something that really resonated with me. you can read all of what he wrote right here.

here's one of the things he said:

"When a pastor knows everything about what’s going on, their ministry will have a distinct ceiling. Sometimes the more you know, the slower you’ll grow."

although that frustrates me, i know that it's true. the good news is that is changing around our church family. more and more things are happening and i have no clue they are happening. small groups are meeting. bible studies are happening. people are being cared for. ministries are springing up. serving is happening. ideas are becoming realities. and these things don't start with me...end with me...require my assistance...look for my approval...or need my blessing.

it's great when i know i'm not needed.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunday night exhale

this was a good sunday. it was great to start this new preaching series on living life at the intersection. i am really pumped about continuing this next sunday. all i gotta say is watch out for detours when you come to intersections...

it sounds like we are off to a great start at underground. they had 60 show up for the first night! it's been a while since we had that many and it's only going to get better.

i really like the sound of the underground band. their hard work has really paid off.

i was all excited for it to rain today. all we got was a bunch of stinking humidity. what's up with that?

i thought it was pretty cool when the loud crash of thunder exploded right when we went into the silent prayer time at communion. i'm still wondering how debbie arranged for that to happen.

i know it doesn't make us better than anybody else, but i am really grateful that we are a church family that takes communion every sunday. i just don't get it when other say that it loses its meaning when we take it so often. pardon my language, but those people are nuts.

the chargers are off to a good start. 14-3 over the nfc champion bears is a good victory. some will say the bears played poorly and that's why the bolts won. i say that sounds like an excuse that losers give.

i just got through watching the cowboys win their first game, also. romo is the real deal. the cows defense is suspect. cow fans should be concerned.

one last football comment. it must really suck to be a michigan fan today. just thought i'd let you know.

looking forward to starting our romans study this week. i think this study is really going to make a difference in the lives of our adults. if you're reading this, you better have a good reason for not being there if i don't see you wednesday.

i ate at cabana and chipotle today. bad for my health, but good for my stomach...

"my glorious" is a great worship song. i'm glad we get to sing it.

we're going to be doing two new worship songs in the next month that are amazing. huge energy. fun to sing. you may have new favorites after we do these songs.

we will officially cancel our landline phone at home this week. we are going totally cell phone. it seems wierd. no home phone. man, have times changed.

do you like watching "flip that house"? it is some of the best stuff to watch on tv. that and 24. for the record, the countdown has begun. four months and counting.

have a great week at your intersections.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Check this out

ok, this is the real deal... i think i have a new hero.

now here's what i'm thinking. you may or may not get into the style of music. that's not the point. this is a guy who has absolutely no formal training. what he has is a gift. it's simply what he's wired to do. it's in his blood. it's his purpose and his passion. it flows out of him. he is who he is. he's comfortable in his own skin. what about you? what has god wired you to do? what's in your blood? what were you created for? what do you throw yourself into with reckless abandon? check out this next video. he is for real. i think i'm addicted to his videos...

still think he's not for real? this one will seal the deal. go check out ronald jenkees videos on youtube. i love this guy!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sunday night exhale...

this was a really good sunday at north point.

it was awesome to listen to the singing in the second service today! the energy while we were singing wholly was pretty incredible. i don't think i've ever heard us sing like that before.

i was a little nervous about labor day attendance, but what was i thinking?

i really like eating at raising canes. best chicken fingers around.

i watched the appalachian state - michigan football game yesterday. it would suck to be a michigan fan today. david conquered goliath in an epic battle. unbelievable. it reminded me again why we love sports so much.

i heard some people talk about the episode where miss south carolina made a name for herself. i finally saw it on the internet. take a look for yourself. bless heart little heart...

i have been looking forward to september 9th for the past five or six weeks. i can't believe it's just a week away. underground is going to be awesome! it makes me miss youth ministry more than i want to tell you.

in spite of that, i am even more excited to begin my new sermon series, living life at the intersection. i don't think i have ever looked forward to a series more than this one. i am praying that god will use it to change the life of our church family!

if you are not planning to be at the wednesday night bible study through the book of romans, i promise you are going to miss out! this book of the bible is so amazing. i can't imagine how a follower of christ could ever be faithful to kingdom living without understanding it.

nobody invited me to join their fantasy football league this year. i really feel left out. so i joined one on my own. i guess i'm just going to have to kick some butts of people i don't know.

tomorrow i start drinking two liters of water everyday for a month to get ready for my yearly trip to the colorado wilderness. i hate the taste of lewisville water in the fall.

i gotta finish painting the outside of my house this week. it's only taken all summer.

the adult fall bowling league starts in 16 days. anybody else counting?

can't wait to see what our song set will be for this sunday morning. i really love the way we do music and worship at north point.

hope you enjoy your labor day. or if you're a slacker and don't read this until thursday...well, i don't know what to say. just joking.