Friday, February 26, 2010

Thank You Mom

This video that Josh Harris posted made me aware of how thankful I am for mothers.

My own mom, who is currently battling cancer, who is a rock of faith and love. She is one of the main people who shaped and pushed me, who showed me what true love and compassion is.

My mother-in-law who raised up 3 great kids, one being my wife.

My wife, Lauren, who is an amazing mother, she is patient and gentle with our kids.

This video reminds me how important it is to say "Thank You" to mothers around us.

Update #7 From Matt Chandler

Mark Driscoll Really Dislikes Avatar

Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle and Albuquerque, thinks Avatar is not amazing, mind-blowing and enlightening, instead he thinks it is demonic, dark and evil.

I have not yet seen the movie, but other than Mark's view, all I have heard was how amazing the movie is and looks.

Is Mark onto something, and if so, are we watching movies with Biblical discernment, or are we just as distracted by pretty lights and sounds like the rest of the world?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It Is Fun To Be A Lobo

I have had the privilege of being the chaplain for the UNM Men's Basketball team for the past 3 seasons. This season has been a very special one for the team. They are currently 26-3 and heading for a huge showdown on Saturday in Provo, UT, against BYU. They are currently ranked #10 in the A.P. and the nation is taking notice.

USA Today featured a story about them today.

Here is an excerpt:
The chemistry is unreal," Alford says. "It's as good as I've had."

Selection Sunday for the NCAA tournament is 17 days away, and the Lobos are all but guaranteed an invitation for the first time since 2005. That's surprising because the season began with uncertainty. For one, the Lobos were inexperienced. The team's three leading scorers, who helped New Mexico reach the NIT's second round, had graduated, leaving one senior: Roman (row-MAHN) Martinez, a 6-6 forward who had deferred to others in the past but is the second-leading scorer and rebounder with averages of 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Sweetness

If this doesn't bring out the patriot in you, I don't know what will.

Props: Z

Friday, February 19, 2010

Matt Chandler Updates

Here are the weekly updates from Matt Chandler for weeks 4-6.

For more information visit The Village Church Pastor's Blog.

Next 2010 Promo Video

This looks to be a great conference for young adults.

My only question: Why do all the good conferences have to be on the East Coast?

Next 2010 Promotional Video from Sovereign Grace Ministries on Vimeo.

Props: Josh Harris

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Apolo Ohno's Disciplined Training for Olympics

We all want to be part of something great, right? The question is, are we disciplined like this?

Doug Wolter says this:

This is one of my favorite events: short track speed skating. Amazing how they train! Made me think of the verses in 1 Cor. 9:25:

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Props: life2gether

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Don't Phone It In

I really appreciate and agree with this thought from Seth Godin:

This was sort of shocking, at least to me:

I was talking to a religious leader, someone who runs a congregation. She made it clear to me that on many days, it's just a job. A job like any other, you show up, you go through the motions, you get paid.

I guess we find this disturbing because spiritual work should be real, not faked.

But isn't your work spiritual?

I know doctors, lawyers, waiters and insurance brokers who are honestly and truly passionate about what they do. They view it as an art form, a calling, and an important (no, an essential) thing worth doing.

In fact, I don't think there's a relationship between what you do and how important you think the work is. I think there's a relationship between who you are and how important you think the work is.

Life's too short to phone it in.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tip For Helping the Homeless

Jonathan Dodson gives 10 Tips for helping the homeless in your town.

Here are the 1st four:

1. Never give cash to a homeless person
Too often, well intended gifts are converted to drugs or alcohol – even when the hard luck stories they tell are true. If the person is hungry, buy them a sandwich and a beverage.

2. Talk to the person with respect.
Taking time to talk to a homeless person in a friendly, respectful manner can give them a wonderful sense of civility and dignity. And besides being just neighborly, it gives the person a weapon to fight the isolation, depression and paranoia that many homeless people face.

3. Recognize that homeless people (and their problems) are not all the same.
The homeless are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow. The person you meet may be a battered women, an addicted veteran, someone who is lacking job skills the list goes on.

4. Share God’s love whenever you can.
If Jesus were walking the earth today, He would certainly spend time with the homeless. He would speak with them, heal them, and help them. Today, Jesus chooses to work through those who believe and follow Him.

Read the rest here

Monday, February 8, 2010

1000 Questions

Lauren and I visited another local church on Sunday. They played this video to end the sermon, it was very powerful and I pray God uses it to rally His people in this city.

The Big Red Tractor

I wonder what would happen if we actually took to heart, and then took to our knees the meaning of this story?

The Big Red Tractor from Jacob Lewis on Vimeo.

Facebook and Reader People you Might have to Click Here to View

Props: Z and Brent

Ed Young Responds to News Reports

I appreciated Pastor Young's response to recent news stories that have questioned his spending and luxurious lifestyle. Whether or not you agree with how he lives, I do think we must be willing to listen, and pray for Ed and Fellowship Church in Dallas. It is easy sometimes to get out our snipers or baseball bats and almost rejoice when a "mega-church" pastor gets in trouble, let's fight that sin and repent of that.

From Ed's Blog:
This was an awesome weekend at Fellowship Church! I am humbled by the outpouring of love, encouragement and support from so many people. Before I spoke, I took the opportunity to thank the church and address some recent news coverage. And now, we will continue to move forward and follow God in the work He is doing here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Advice for Young Preachers

CCWblog has some great tips for those of us early in the game of preaching.

1. Take advantage of less formal teaching opportunities.
2. Meditate on your text far longer than on commentaries
3. Teach one thing, not a bunch of things
4. Amplify your comments with colorful words and helpful illustrations
5. Practice out loud what you will say, as you will say it
6. If you use notes, don't constantly look at them
7. Avoid imitating your favorite preacher's style
8. Care for the people you will teach before you teach them something
9. Pray
10. Try Again
Click here for a more in depth look at each point.

I also really agree with this last statement given to the older, more seasoned preachers.

If you are an aspiring preacher, and the opportunity arrives to open up the Bible and tell people what it says and why it matters for their lives, go for it! If you are a pastor, let me encourage you to give other men in your church the opportunity to teach the Bible. Your willingness to subject the congregation to a beginner may give wings to a life of faithful ministry. Even men who have preached thousands of sermons were given their first opportunity. Pour on the encouragement and see what God does.

Props: DashHouse

Friday, February 5, 2010

We Are Far Too Easily Pleased

From Desiring God.

The script comes straight from C. S. Lewis:

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. (The Weight of Glory, 26)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Leading Yourself Checklist

Dave Kraft over at Resurgence, has a very helpful post about leading yourself before and while you are leading others. There are parts in this list I find extremely convicting. #5 is something I really struggle with as I often find myself stretched out too thin and have nothing left at the end of the week, I have also been struggling with keeping a good sabbath schedule and I am now feeling some of the affects of that emotionally, physically and spiritually and am in the process of repentance and restructuring how and what I do.

What areas do you struggle with?

A Checklist For Self-Leading

Here are a few areas to consider that are consistent with 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 as you reflect on leading yourself.

  1. My gifts. How am I doing at leading myself to know my gifts, stay within my limits, and develop those gifts to their highest, God-pleasing potential?
  2. My character. How am I doing at leading myself to be a person of integrity who follows through on promises made and is a person that others can trust?
  3. My purity. How am I doing at being careful of what my eyes see, my ears hear, and my mind thinks about? How are my relationships with members of the opposite sex? Do I have guidelines, safeguards, and appropriate and honest accountability?
  4. My pride. How am I doing at keeping Christ at the center? Am I the hero of my own stories? Do the words I speak communicate an attitude of arrogance and superiority, or am I characterized by humility and teachability?
  5. My pace. How am I doing at leading myself in the use of my time? Is my schedule writing checks my body can’t cash? Am I going at an unbalanced pace that is digging myself, and those whom I lead, an early grave? Do I have a biblical view of work and leisure, or am I a workaholic who gets a sense of self-worth based on my work?
  6. My finances. How am I doing at leading myself in the money arena? Do I have healthy protection and checks and balances built-in regarding organizational funds that don’t belong to me? Are there healthy audits over all financial dealing with which I am associated? Do I resist the lusting and grabbing lifestyle of my culture, choosing instead to be content and satisfied with God’s provision? Or is my happiness at the door of the next purchase?
  7. My anger. How am I doing at leading myself emotionally? Do I have a reputation for being a hothead and having a short fuse? Do I keep score regarding perceived slights, insults, and put-downs? Do resentment, bitterness, and lack of forgiveness characterize me? One survey I came across revealed that bitterness is the major cause of burnout for men between 38 and 50 years of age.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Do Not Get Lost in Lost

I get that everyone in the world is stoked that Lost is starting tonight. I am too. As I sit here though I am more aware than ever how foolish it is to get over excited about Lost.

The same excitement we have for Lost we had for the series finale of Friends and Seinfeld. I can honestly say that neither of those “events” changed my life or moved me in a way that influences how I raise my kids or love my wife. Whether or not Jack Bauer saved the world or not did not comfort me when my mom got diagnosed with cancer.

The same goes for sporting events, a Lobo Basketball championship this season would be sweet and I would be tweeting about that for sure, but if and when tragedy strikes in my family that championship ring won’t offer help or hope. It will just sit there, I know I have one.

All this to say, that on our deathbeds we will not look back and highlight our time engulfed by fictional characters on TV or even enthralled by great seasons on the hard-court.

What will matter will be how we loved our kids, that risk that was taken where the outcome was not spelled out. What will matter is whether we told our wife that we love her so much and am so grateful to God for bringing her into my life.

What will matter most of all?

What we did with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. What will matter will be whether or not we saw our need for a Savior before a Holy God, and the wrath that we deserve. What will matter is the love of God that has been poured out for us by His Son Jesus. The resurrection of that Son and His defeat of sin and death that has happened and one day will fully be seen.

With that said, get stoked about Lost, watch it, record it, talk about…but realize that 10 years, 1 year, 1 week from now, it won’t matter, and be OK with that.

Monday, February 1, 2010

This Record Looks Awesome!

From Z via Tominthebox NewsNetwork
From the best of Christian Radio comes an album just for you males in the church out there. It's the best weepy, whiney overly emotional spineless songs to encourage you as you battle through your hard and tedious life day after day. Titles include,

-My Parents are Making me Move Out
-Why Do I Need a Job?
-Responsibility is Not My Spiritual Gift
-My X Box Broke, Help me Through This Storm
-Help Me Through This Trial of the Cable Being Out
-Why Do Girls Want a Man With a Job?
-I Spilled My No-Fat Mocha Latte on My Lemon Yellow Vest
-Mark Driscoll Yelled at Me and Now I Want to Cry

...and many more great titles to lift you up when darkness clouds your spineless, aimless existence.