I ripped out a kitchen cabinet today because the refrigerator we like is ONE INCH too tall.
..and that's my blog post for the day.
*feeling guilty about our American consumerist behavior.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
I ripped out a kitchen cabinet today because the refrigerator we like is ONE INCH too tall.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
It's time to be Bringers and Braggers!
For Father's Day we are bringing in the laughs.
Don't miss comedian
Calling all dads, uncles, grandpas, your boss, the mailman, or your local bar bouncer.
Make sure to invite someone to the Father's Day service at First Assembly in Mattoon.
You won't want to miss all the surprises.
...and stick around for the BBQ afterwards, along with all the family activities.
*a little contribution to Creative Chaos at RagamuffinSoul.com.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
T-Ball league has a lot to offer us in helping relate to new Christians.
T-ball players sometimes run to Third Base first.
New Christians run to the Book of Revelations or Page 1 of the Bible.
We need to help them begin their reading journey in an easy-to-understand part of the Bible, such Mark or John.
T-ball players don’t play specific positions in the outfield. They just spread out.
New Christians sometime don't get to serve anywhere, or are put in too-difficult positions.
We need to let them enjoy serving all over the place, and allow them to experience some Kingdom work without giving them too much responsibility.
T-ball players can never remember the batting order.
New Christians don’t understand our service structure or the “Appropriate Church Service” techniques and traditions.
We need to design services that are friendly to the new person and help them understand why we do what we do.
T-ball players wear a little bit of everything—jeans, shorts, ballpants, sweats.
New Christians are not sure what to wear to church.
We need to create an environment where anyone can wear anything to church. No matter what you wear, you still get to join in.
T-ball players all bat through in each inning. There is no three-out rule.
New Christians want to join in, without strict rules that they don’t understand.
We need to relax on the dogma, rules, and deep theology and make sure New Christians get to have fun and enjoy this new community during the first chapter of their spiritual journey.
T-ball players don’t all know the name of their team, just the color of their shirt.
New Christians don’t understand all the denominations labels, nor do they care.
We need to help New Christians enjoy being on the team without bogging them down with labels, distinctions, and differences.
T-ball players all win. No one keeps score.
New Christians want a positive environment. They don’t want to feel like they lost a game.
We need to celebrate wins right from the very start of their spiritual journey. Point out the the spiritual strides forward. Rewards them. And don’t make them feel like a loser when they mess up. They need to feel like winners.
T-ball players love their free drink at the end of the game.
New Christians want to feel appreciated.
We need to discover ways to reward new Christians and make them feel like they did a great job each week they are on their journey.
T-ball players have fun whether it’s practice or a game.
New Christians want to enjoy their journey, whether at a weekend gathering, or sering on a team.
We need not to bore new Christians with mundane meetings or training sessions. We need to create dynamic training and discipleship sessions that engage their hearts and minds.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Last night I spoke to the 2008 Mattoon High School graduates and their families/friends. It was the community Baccalaureate service held in the high school gymnasium.
1. I went 100 percent noteless. Didn't even take any with me. I mind mapped, outlined, dreamed about it, internalized everything.... then just went to the event with no notes.
It. Felt. Good.
2. The theme was Stand. I shared four stories: My Story, Daniel's Story, Tomas Borge's story, Their Story.
3. I never would have dreamed 15 years ago when I was graduating from Mattoon that God had THIS journey for me. Incredible.
4. I love Mattoon. Some people want out of this town. I want Jesus glorified IN this town.
5. Partnering and building relationships in our communities is priceless. Connect, connect, connect.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
What might take place at First Assembly in days, months, and years to come?
Great question. However, not an easy one to pinpoint or provide exact answers for.
The list below are some areas of focus we will be looking at, praying about and working toward in the future. By no means are these in any specific order. Just a list of God-thoughts I have from time to time when asking God to help me dream BIG for the church.
Get the Church’s mission into the DNA of the people. We exist to glorify Jesus and bring about spiritual transformation in people's lives. Put this in front of the church all the time.
Help everyone at First Assembly move along in their Journey. (Connect to God, People, and Serve) Label events, sermons, and opportunities in these areas to help people understand the journey process.
Care about those not attending any church.
Become a life-giving church.
Empower and equip teams of people to go do the ministry at First Assembly. (The pastor established and releases teams into ministry We need to build teams and release teams into ministry.
Dynamic Weekend Services. (attractive atmosphere, engaging music, dynamic preaching, high-end media, innovative staging, café relational area, friendly environment, life-giving experiences.)
Strong Life Groups and other relational/belonging gatherings.
Several Serving opportunities.
Big-Attendance opportunities four times a year.
Effective new-believer discipleship.
Increase community reputation and buzz for being effective, relevant, and life-giving.
The premier voice for families and family resourcing in the area
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I have a thousand emotions and thoughts running through my head today.
excited. full of vision. anticipating incredible God moments.
humbled. dependent on Him. holding on tight.
I have SO MANY BLOG POSTS coming in the future to talk about my journey in being elected the next Lead Pastor of First Assembly.
As for now, I end my long May 18 with this:
May I be who You want me to be. Keep me humble, keep me pure, keep me passionate for all your kids inside and outside of the church.
May I be full of vision, surrounded by great wisdom, dependent on your Word and Spirit, and innovative in leading your church.
May we be a church that glorifies You, and helps transform people's lives.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius allowed to compete in Olympics
Read the story here
Why do I even begin to complain about my day?
Why do I ever want to give up on a project?
Why do I ever allow the words "I can't" to come out of my mouth?
May we run in life with perseverance.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Thursday, May 29
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
First Assembly of God
Healthy Communities Office
Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
As I walked into my office, I saw a box laying on my desk. "Did I order books?" I wondered.
I opened it up and found a bag of coffee nestled in packing popcorn, with a card on top.
A friend from my old college newspaper days (circa 1994-1997) read my blog and decided to send me some coffee. What an amazing surprise.
What a great way to walk into the office.
Theresa and her husband Bill mailed me the package.
And included was a very kind note.
I guess it's time to pay it forward.
I'll be thinking of ways to make someone's day special.
What would make your day special?
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Here's a list of things on my mind: (in no specific order)
- I'm speaking at the May 21 MHS Baccalaureate Service
- I'm speaking May 24 at First Assembly
- I have to put together a trampoline for my boys
- I have a garage sale on Saturday that still need a lot of attention
- The church is voting on me as the next lead pastor THIS Sunday!
- We need to kick it into gear when it come to our Father's Day service/event
- There are several hurting families that need their lives turned around
- My family
- Finding time to exercise
- Illinois District Council and needing my time in the office instead of there
- Organizing our finances
- Dreaming BIG for our church.
Please turn off. I would like to have a peaceful day.
Monday, May 12, 2008
I spent this afternoon working on a design for an up coming parenting gathering we will be having May 29 at First Assembly.
Design 1... was BAD.
Design #2 is better.
I'm still not too happy with either.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
First of all, I will not update each day on this 30-day health challenge. But since today is Day 1, i figured I would give a quick report.
Walked two miles (30 mins)
Mowed the yard (30 mins)
So far I've drank 32 oz. of water. (Jug #2 waiting for me.)
I had Total for breakfast and pasta for lunch.
So far so good.
Tomorrow, on the other hand, will be a challenge.
Between church, Mother's Day activities and my son's birthday party, it will be a challenge to get 30 mins. of excersise in and not eat junk all day.
They don't call it a challenge for nothing.
Friday, May 9, 2008
- 30 mins of exercise every day.
- drink 64 oz. of water each day.
- No soda.
- No fried foods.
Who wants to join me?
Thursday, May 8, 2008
In 1999 (almost ten years ago) I was a volunteer youth staff member working with Matt Wilkie at a church in Springfield, MO. As a youth ministry we took a fun trip to a theme park called Worlds of Fun in Kansas City.
Matt is the guy who says the funny, yet appropriately awkward, comments to strangers. Like, when we were traveling in Poland and trying to buy tickets at a train station, he would just keep saying, "We aren't from around here." At Walmart, he always comments to the checkout person about the latest tabloid trash news and gets their opinion on the matter.
At the theme park Worlds of Fun, there is a drink station called Pagoda Soda. Matt went up to the cashier and ordered a "Pagoda soda."
"We sell Coke products" was the response back.
Matt replied, "Well, I'll take whatever is on your sign.. P A G O D A soda. I can wait if you are out." (This conversation took place for at least 3-5 minutes.)
Then we watched a high dive competition. The guys in their pink Spedos did a great job--especially the little framed man. So as we were leaving the show and shaking their hands, Matt gave the little pink-Spedo wearing guy a big bear hug and tells him he did a great job.
By this point in the day I'm thinking to myself.... "I can do this. I can be this funny."
Then it began to rain. We decided to leave the park and head to the mall. By chance it stopped raining, we could come back to the theme park.
So as were leaving, you had to get your hand stamped for re-enrty.
"Here's my chance," I thought to myself.
(Let me set the scene: It's raining. The guy is wearing a poncho. Everyone is trying to get through the hand stamping area.)
I walk up to the guy. He tries to stamp my hand. ... I move it.
He tries again. ...I move it again.
He tries again... I say... "Too slow..."
By this time a security guard walks over to me.
"Is there a problem here?"
I see that I went overboard. I say no. I get my hand stamped. I leave the park.
As soon as I walk through the gates all the youth staff and teenagers jump all over me and say, "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DID THAT."
I think.. "What, I was just trying to be funny."
They say, "Didn't you see that he was mentally challenged?"
*Cold Sweat. Awkward feeling running through my bones. I feel horrible.
"I DIDN'T KNOW!"
That was ten years ago. Yesterday I pulled a similar mistake. We all deserve to make a mistake every 10 years. I'm due for another in 2018.
(By the way, I deleted Wednesday's picture post. Like the hand stamper story, it's one of those "oops...I wish that wouldn't have happened" moments"
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
So I eagerly showed my wife my blog post from earlier today. I had lots of hits and good comments. I thought it was a pretty funny "Google image" find.
My wife works in physical therapy with children. She took one look at the picture and said, "Oh My Gosh! You're making fun of a physically challenged child! I can't believe you."
I said...."um...um...um....no..it's just a funny picture."
She said, "Find me the website this picture came from."
I searched Google images again...found the pic, and then went to the original website.
Yep. A Healthcare products website.
*face began to sweat.*
"I had no idea."
This is not the first time I've made this mistake.
(To Be Continued....)
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Here's a few more sessions/breakouts at Orange I didn't get around to blogging about when I was there:
Andy Stanley showed up for a session to do a Q and A.
My fried Erik Scottberg jotted down some notes on it HERE.
Carrie Nieuwhof: Five Parenting Tips
1. Start with the end.
• Think about the end before you start anything. What do you want you kids to end up like?
• What do I want this little baby to be like when he’s 18, 28, 45, 70?
2. Fight for the Heart
• Rules can win out over relationship. Be careful.
• Parents love rules. Pharisees loved rules. Hmmm... make sure rules aren’t more important that relationship.
• Sometimes get too frustrated at what they see int heir kids..then they hammer down with the rules...and lose their hearts. If you have their hearts, they will get the rules.
• God is fighting for your heart. We need to fight for our kids’ heart.
3. Lead with your LIFE
• An inheritance is what you leave FOR your kids A legacy is what you leave IN your kids.
• What does your life say about how much you care about your kids?
4. Create a Ryythm
• You can be present, but still absent. You can be home at night, but if you’re on the laptop, then not really.
• It’s not the quality of time, but the quantity of quality time that makes a difference.
• The rhythm is daily, weekly, monthly and geared to life stage.
• A priority is a pre-decision about your time.
5. Multiply your influence
• grab some men in the church and let them build into boys. Same with women and girls.
Louie Giglio challenged us to be a transcendent Church
Some of his points:
1. Tell the gospel AND do the gospel
2. Tell supernatural stories AND experiencing supernatural acts
3. Movement AND walls.
4. It’s about the future MORE THAN the past. The church should always be leaning forward.
Other bloggers who captured Orange: