- had supper last night with some friends from church, patrice's steak looked like a fish - pics forthcoming - it's great!
- fun time last night at supper - watching kendall stand on the chair while we yelled yee-haw was classic...
- what i heard of the message this am was on target and pulled no punches - been processing these things myself - just pray!
- had a couple bumpy spots in this am's service - nothing that we can't improve upon - here's the deal, we can never be the best at anything, because when we are, we stop improving!
- started writing some content for the new site - also, doing a lot of parallel reading of other sites to see some of their content and the phraseology that's used
- can't wait to be on vacation sometime soon - now would be good, but gotta wait...
- josh's soccer team played one of their best games this past weekend...alyssa's are always fun to watch - i call it bunch ball at this age
- the apprentice isn't on and that stinks - donald, still want to be on the show if you ever read this - the first pastor ever!
- took alyssa to world of wonder this afternoon while patrice went 'walmartin' (that's what they call it in some surrounding counties) - we had a blast - what a great park, so much creativity for a child, so much to do - it's huge - if you're a parent, gotta take your kids there if you're nearby - it was a great daddy/daughter date!
- the falcons shored up their defense - looking good for next year if the team can keep their nose out of trouble
- the braves lost today in an extra-value game (extra-innings)...on an unrelated cool note, chipper hit into an unassisted triple play - only been 13 of them in all of mlb history - i remember when raffy executed one a few years back - wow! bummer for larry though - this was the 2nd time in his career he hit into one - last one was in '96 - what are the chances?
- the above point reminds me of the perfect game (only been 17 in history) that josh and i saw when randy johnson pitched in turner stadium - by the ninth inning we were all pulling for the d-backs because we wanted to see history take place - great to be there with my son!
- going to be a busy week...soccer practices, games, travel, stuff...
- finally, i'm the most blessed man in the world with my amazing wife and two incredible children!
batterson lead the pack here with several blogs that have captured my attention:
- "out of church experience" is one of the best recaps of one of mark's core convictions - in fact, i've used these statements on more than one occasion - "change of pace + change of place = change of perspective" - that's a battersonism that is worth hanging on to. on a personal level, what that means is that if i can't make it to a change of place (i.e., this conference, or that one) then i need to begin to look locally for a change of place - in other words, what can i learn from this business, that park, this hotel, that restaurant that can bring change of perspective so that i'm always leading from the front of the pack with fresh ideas and new insight.
- "the spirituality of space" is another one of mark's post that captured me - don't think he's ever quite coined it in the terms he did in this post. on a personal level, being that we're going into a new building in perhaps just a couple of months or so, it's so imperative that we create the right atmosphere - so key! i came across this from someone - not sure, maybe batterson or someone else, we create our buildings, then our buildings create us! that's so true, whether you're creating a new nursery, a new youth room, a new office, whatever - you create it then it forms you - it forms your perspective, your outlook, your sense of optimism or not, you're way of framing things.
- finally, this batterson blog has been on my radar for many days now - it's a quote that mark shares from craig groeschel of lifechurch.tv - here's the quote - "The difference between where you are and where God wants you to be may be the painful decision you refuse to make." - wow! this has been on my radar simply because i don't want my inability to make a decision be the thing that keeps me from all that God has for me! i'll keep coming back to this one i know.
- another excellent post from one of the leaders at ncc is this one from heather - this is a long one, but you need to make time to read through it all and digest it - btw, this is one of an excellent series of posts coming from the zone gathering blog
- the final post that has challenged me is this one from craig on breaking through growth barriers - it's simple, it's powerful, it's true - but too often people are too afraid to do this very thing this post challenges us to - whether it be in our church, our marriage, our parenting, our jobs, our business - whatever - sometimes, you've just got to change something...putting your finger on the right thing is another challenge though. on a personal level, i just read about a church that had over 60 committees in it - how stupid is that is my first reaction. but, beyond that, the details of this congregation were that they didn't even realize they had this many, they were loosing on average 55 people per year (but no one noticed because there were over 2000 in the congregation so it took a while for people to notice that others were leaving while some new ones were coming in), and they were slowly dying! what changed it for them was a wake up call with reality when they realized the situation they were in - know what they did? they changed something - they changed from a committee-led, deacon-led church to a staff-led church with only 3 committees and an elder board that provided general oversight and accountability - bottom line, they changed something - what in your life, in your church, in your career, in your marriage, in your parenting-style, in your pursuit of God needs to be changed? Remember the post above and keep this in mind..."The difference between where you are and where God wants you to be may be the painful decision you refuse to make."
i'm off to create some more content...stay tuned!
i spent most of the day in macon meeting with other A/G high caliber children's ministry leaders pr epping for this year's trip - it's going to be great - and, it's going to be challenging - as of right now we don't have a place to sleep, cook or practice - but we have a place to have services! the rest will fall into place...
for those that don't know - Project GO! (PG) is geared for children...to put them into ministry...to train them...to prepare them for life by beginning now to let them see that they can be used by God - we use material developed by the A/G - for more information, you can click here - it's intense and for those serious about being used by God. really fired up about it - really fired up about going down to serve! really looking forward watching these kids be used by God...
to top it off tonight - my son's soccer team won 5-1 in a remarkable game!
Mark Batterson always challenges me - this is a guy that you must add to your RSS feeder or Bloglines list if he's not there already.
Below is a quote from his blog today - this is timely and timeless information.
Church and Culture
As I see it, the church has four options when it comes to engaging culture: 1) ignore it, 2) imitate it, 3) condemn it, or 4) create it. And each option leads in polar opposite directions.
We can ignore culture, but the byproduct of ignorance is irrelevance. The more we ignore culture the more irrelevant we'll become. And if the church ignores the culture, the culture will ignore the church.
We can imitate culture, but imitation is a form of suicide. Originality is sacrificed on the altar of cultural conformity. If we don't shape the culture, the culture will shape us.
We can condemn culture, but condemnation is a cop out. Let me just call it what it is: condemnation is spiritual laziness. We've got to stop pointing the finger and start offering better alternatives. If the church condemns the culture, the culture will condemn the church.
Those three options will lead the church down a dead-end road to irrelevance, but there is another option--the only option if we're serious about fulfilling the Great Commission and incarnating the gospel. We can compete for culture by creating culture.
In the immortal words of the Italian artist and poet, Michelangelo: criticize by creating.
At the end of the day, the culture will treat the church the way the church treats the culture. And we're not called to condemn. We're called to redeem.
it was a weird dream, but in the dream i saw a scripture that was scribbled on a piece of paper, actually it was several pieces of paper...truth of the matter, it was followed by an autograph of a famous country singer (CASH)...so, how did this dream all come about? i'm guessing, and this is just how my dreams typically come about, they tend to be 'by-products' of my day's activities...through the course of yesterday, i specifically remember looking at my son's dresser where he had laying an autographed picture of toby mac from a recent concert - i saw it twice - that's the autograph part. the only other thing i can figure is that i watched a couple of portions of the cmt music awards - that's the country music singer part...but, what about that scripture?
over and over he kept signing proverbs 29:???-??? - i couldn't make the last part out, so, i got out of bed to take a look at that chapter in proverbs to see if this was a God thing, or just a really bad mexican fajitas thing...
it's a God thing! i came across this passage in verse 25 - "The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that" - definitely a God thing!
i've been pondering this thought recently and posted about it on another blog - we ultimately have an audience of one - and that would be God. it's His opinion that really is all that matters. it's his approval that is all that is matters. but, and here's the God-breakthrough part for me this morning/night, this verse supports that, but it's conditional...in fact, the opinion of God and the approval of God (rather than man) ONLY comes as a result of the last half of that verse - "trusting in God protects you from that" - that's it! that's the part that matters the most...
too often we (and i mean starting with ME) state that it's only God that i have to please, but we use that to hide behind something - we don't first trust God and then not worry about man's opinion, instead we don't worry about man's opinion then trust God - what if?
what if God wants us to regard man's opinion AFTER we trust Him - perhaps that could be part of the plan, perhaps we don't have to worry about it at all!
well, it's late/early (depending on your perspective) this was something that i just had to download though because it's something that's been on my heart - we have an audience NOT of One, but beginning with One!
- time together - real time!
- life skills - how to tie a tie; how to change the oil; how to open the door for a lady
- direction with solid "why" answers - teach them to know 'why'
- convictions through modeling - you will leave in your son what you've lived out in your home; integrity
- dad's heart - needs to be loved, affirmed and blessed by dad; make sure your son leaves home with these 3 things: 'i love you'(loved), 'i'm proud of you'(affirmed), and, 'your good at'(blessed)
i think i'll wait until the second post to attempt the above...