Monday, November 19, 2007
The Shack is a book that totally rocked me to my inner core. I cried, laughed, repented, looked at what a sinner I am and experienced God in ways I never thought possibly. I see theology in a new appreciation and have a better understanding of who God is and the relationship he wants to have with me. I just finished it and I am still processing the book. I love the way it teaches theology. I love the way the writer interweaves the story of God and relates it to our story. More to come on this book as I continue to think about the truths God is teaching me. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has gone through a time of "Great Sadness."
Friday, October 26, 2007
My understanding was that he was tired, exhausted he didn't want to continue to live in this world. My guess is that he was under attack. He was exhausted and worn down becasue the enemy wanted him to feel that way. I feel like we are in a battle yet when we talk about the fight we are in even followers of Christ don't really acknowledge the fight. We are in a constient battle for souls, for our soul. For those who are followers of Christ the enemy wants to keep us ineffective and unroductive in our faith. The devil will use all different tatics in this war... he will lie, he will tempt, he will distract our enemy will use anything to push followers of Christ away from Jesus.
When will we learn? This was a huge warning for me. I struggle with listening to the lies, I struggle with feeling like I am not doing anything for the kingdom, I struggle with feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and beat down. This is all apart of the battle. Jesus said, "Come to me all you who are in need of rest, and I will give you rest (paraphrased)."
Most of the time I forget who Jesus is and that is why I allow the things of this world to hinder my relationship with God. This week I taught on a great passage to help in times of trouble. Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. BUT TAKE HEART! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD." What a great promise. Take heart, those who are in Christ will one day be victorious in the battle.
Lord, I am so sadden by my friend by I pray that it will be a reminded to all those who love you that you are in control, and that we can rest in you, becasue you have overcome this world.
Monday, October 22, 2007
‘American pastors are abandoning their posts, their calling. They have gone whoring after other gods. What they do with their time under the guise of pastoral ministry hasn’t the remotest connection with what the church’s pastors have done for most of 20 centuries’
‘We quit being diagnosticians of the soul & instead develop programs – educational, political, economic – all of which can be done without relationships of love’
I had to ask myself when was the last time I have really cared for the souls of others, instead of trying to create something that will bring them back? It is a tough question with difficult answers. I want students to be excited about what is going on, but at what cost. I desire to see students and myself spiritually deep. How long will it take me to stop pleasing others and please God? What is it going to take to really push students, myself and others to examine our souls.
Monday, October 08, 2007
One of my favorite things to do with Emma and Addie is to go fishing. I love watching how excited they get to catch a fish. They love to bring them in and touch the fish. I mean they are kind-of scared to touch them, but they are so full of joy to bring them on the shore. They laugh smile and giggle and they look at the fish. As soon we put it back in the water my girls are ready to throw out their lines and catch another fish.
Sometimes it takes time, sometimes Emma and I will wait for a long time to get a bit, and for Emma and myself this is a hard thing to do. We don't like to wait for the fish we both like it when we catch fish quickly. It is all about the immediate gratification. We want to catch as many fish as we possibly can.
I was thinking about fishing with my girls the other day. Jesus told his disciples that instead of fishing for fish, he was going to make them fishers of men. Many times I think that all I have to do is throw out a line and a fish is going to take the bait. But that isn't always the case. Most of the time when we share our lives with others in hopes that they will trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior, it is a long and involved process. Even in the story of the calling of the disciples Jesus tells the disciples to throw their nets on the other side of the boat and when they do that they catch a net load of fish. Catching fish is the job of Jesus our role is to go out and fish, to be obedient and to be patient when sharing our lives as well as the gospel with others.
I love how Jesus continues to teach me in the every day experiences. I love teaching Emma and Addie how to fish for fish, andI hope and pray that they will one day be a fishers of men.
As I reflect on the game I was convicted about how excited I get for sports teams, I am checking on the scores and stats of the team. I know the players inside and out, and I can give details about all the players. I wish I had as much passion for knowing God, as I do for the Rockies. A baseball team which has no eternal significance.
Another observation I made was about the community. Look at how excited the Rockies community is at this point. Imagine if the my spiritual community was this excited to see God work. Imagine men and women going nuts because God is changing the lives of people. I cheer for a man who hits a ball and I smile and nod when I hear that Jesus has saved another soul from eternal separation. How great would it be if the spiritual community, the church, get excited about what God is doing and celebrated like we do for the Rockies?
Thursday, October 04, 2007
The last couple of nights I have shared a passage with students about how the devil is the father of lies. Since the beginning Satan has been twisting the truth and deceiving people. I have been meditating on the different lies that I have been believing; about myself, about my abilities and about God. When I don't put the belt of truth on, when I am week in my faith and when I am living in sin that I believe the lies the evil one feeds me. Sometimes these lies our so subtle that I don’t even recognize they are lies. As I have exposed the tactics of the evil one, students and myself have been able to experience a new freedom. C.S.Lewis wrote a great book called the Screwtape Letters that illustrates this exact point. When we allow the lies of the evil to infiltrate our lives, we become ineffective and unproductive in our walk. We are in a battle that I am afraid that most followers of Christ downplay because we don’t want to be looked at as freaks. My friends it is time to suit up with the armor of God and prepare for battle because we are being attack all the time.
Monday, October 01, 2007
I want to thank Julia Simms for making sure the WNT was based on praying together as a family. Last January when we met together for the first time in Eire on a Wednesday night Julia said, "the one thing I want to happen is that we pray for each other every time we come together." What a word from the Lord. Over the last nine months we have seen God continue to answer prayers and I am in awe of God. He is a testimony to the power of prayer in the lives of students. Last week as we were having our family night out event a student pulled me aside and asked if we were going to pray together tonight. I said I didn't think we would she was extremely disappointed because she was in desperate need of prayer. I could see it in her eyes, she was going through a tough day and learned over the last few months that prayer is powerful and effective. On the way home in the vans Matt Simms and Corey Henderson lead students in a time of prayer.
God would you please teach me to have a deeper faith in you and your ability to answer the cries of my heart. Would you teach me to rely more on you and less on my own abilities? Lord would you forgive me for giving more time and energy to announcements than to prayer. Help me to been a man who depends on the power of prayer.
With :02 left to go in the game I am sitting in my car on the way from my sister-in-laws wedding to the reception. I am going crazy and the people around me are laughing at me...Then Mark Johnson said, "It is good!" The buffs beat #3 Oklahoma!!! I won't have believed it, if I didn't hear it and then watch it later. For the first time in a long time the buffs were on Sports Center, as the leading story. Not only did the buffs win, but they held the #1 offense in the nation to 230 years in total offense forcing three turnovers. The most impressive stat was that the buffs held the ball for over minutes. What a great weekend for Colorado sports...Buffs beat Oklahoma and we are still taking about the Rockies in October.
Friday, September 28, 2007
A week ago we help our 4th annual Murder Mystery Dinner. What a great event for our ministry. This year was the best year we have ever had...great parent involvement, students brought their unbelieving friends, and the volunteer staff did a great job running the game. I love events like this for the purpose of creating an environment of love for students can ring their friends and they can experience a spiritual community. My favorite part of the night is watching the parents love on students. It makes my heart so excited to watch parents engage students in their world. I give 5 gold stars to Gayle Bucknam and her job on organizing the food and parent help. What a blessing to have a mom and family open up their home, make the food, and organize moms and dads to serve students. The reason why I love this is it gives parents and students a memory that they can have together. As I grow as a minister I want to make parents heroes, I am only with these students for a few years, and I am so thankful, but moms and dads will be with them for the rest of their lives. It is my desire to see parent’s disciple and mentor their students.
As far as the murder mystery we added another twist this year that extended the game. Since our theme was mob style, we had a family put out the hit. So the teams had to figure out...What room did the murder take place in, Who was the murderer, what weapon did they use and which mob family paid for the murder. Each team was a different mob family. It was a great night with lots of laughter, encouragement, students connecting with one another and of course a dance party broke out to finish the night. I was so plesed to see different social groups connect with one another, sit at the same table and be on the same team. I pry that as we grow as a ministry we wil realize that we are one body, who will all be worshipping Jeuss together someday. A great night...thank you to everyone who helped in the event.
A special thanks to the volunteers who helped out in the event. It was great to have a few new adults come and help us out at the last minute. That is one thing we need this year...we need men and women who want to mentor and pour their lives into students. Thomas and I were talking the other day about this issue we are having in the high school ministry at the Boulder campus. We are in need for people to come alongside and help disciple and mentor students. With that being said, we aren't looking for warm bodies, but people who want to be involved in the lives of students, who want to challenge them to conform to the likeness of Jesus Christ, who will love and encourage them. This is our prayer that Jesus would bring people to love on students and be a part of the team.