Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Trevor on Esther 2:18-3:15

Here is Trevor's blog summary of his message on Sunday (2/26) to catch you up in case you missed it.

My Morning in High School

I am excited to by back teaching this Sunday out of Esther 4! "...for such a time as this."

Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture - 3

On to chapter 2 "There's Something Happenin' Here." There is something happening in our culture and students are ripe towards spirituality. I was glad to see Walt add some theology to the discussion of engaging the culture through "fulfilling the great commission as ambassadors of Jesus Christ" pg.44. A great resource that addresses making theology a priority is Practicing Passion by Kendra Casey Dean. He launches from Jesus' mandate to "make disciples" to give what he calls "Three Crucial Steps for the Crosscultural Missionary" - this is for the youth leader, teacher, adult or anybody who is working with teenagers in this culture.

First, let me give out an AMEN to this statement. "The church has much to learn from the world of advertising." I love reading Seth Godin for this very reason!

Here is the first of three steps:

Step 1: Know the unchanging Word. Can I get another amen? Walt is calling youth leaders to know the unchanging Word therefore it must be a priority modeled in our ministries. If we are calling our leaders to know the Word then it must be the expectation that our leaders are using their knowledge of the Word as they lead their small groups, as they meet one on one and as they teach on Sunday mornings! Not only do I want our leaders to know the unchanging Word but I want our students to know the that God's Word is immutable.

I want our student ministry to be saturated with the Word. I want Proverbs 7:2 to be the life verse for every student in our ministry, "Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. " I want the Word to be the apple of their eye. I want them to know that life really happens when it is attached to the truth of the Word. I want our students to expect to hear from God's Word every Sunday we meet. Therefore I pray Psalm 119:18 every morning before I teach on behalf of each student, "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things from your Word!" In turn, I want the wonderful things they see to cause them to BURN FOR CHRIST! On the road to Emmaus we find the disciples hearts were burning inside of them. Why? The disciples hearts burned within them when Christ opened the Scriptures to them!

Psalm 19:7-11 gives us an incredible picture of what the Word can do if it is opened when we gather with our students. It revives the soul, makes wise the simple, gives joy to the heart, gives light to the eyes, endures forever, and is altogether righteous! I thank God for David's reminder that the glory of God is found in the Word of God.

Can you imagine a framework for engaging the soul of youth culutre that has as it's priority the one and only thing that can truly revive their soul - the Bible?

Can you imgaine a small group that is engaging a group of teenagers that has it's priority the one and only thing that can give joy to their hearts - the Bible?

Can you imagine a youth leader fighting for the soul of a student that has as their priority the one and only thing that can make wise the simple - the Bible?

Can you imagine a student ministry that has as their priority the one and only thing that can give light to the eyes of the students God has blessed them to work with - the Bible?

Finally, based on what we have been challenged to do in chapter 1, can you imagine a leader who knows the unchanging Word, and has as their priority to speak God's truth into the soul of the student they are meeting with after they have listened to them?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Sun Bathing in February?

It's 72 degrees today in Denver. Tomorrow it's going to be 74 degrees! What a difference a week makes, as last Monday it was in the teens!

We are also glad for the great weather because Adah has jaundice. Her skin is nice and yellow! The Doc wants her in the sun three times a day for 15 minutes each time to help get rid of the yellow in her skin.

This is first sun bath! Let the pampering begin!

Esther 2:18 - 3:15

This week I had the extreme privilege of partnering with one of my co-workers Trevor Lee on Sunday (2/26). He prepared the message for Esther 2:18-3:15 and then taught it to our high school students. I spoke with him briefly and he said things went well. Funny story - When he got up to teach one student came right down to the front and immediately went to sleep! Welcome to the club Trevor. He focused on the three characters in the story: Haman the antagonist, Mordecai the supposed protagonist and God the real protagonist of the story. If he posts a blog on his experience I will link you to it.

Here's what I learned from Trevor this week. He wasn't just filling in for me. He served me. The servant attitude is the exact opposite of the filling in for me attitude! The servant attitude is what every organization needs if they are going to grow personally and as an organization. Here's a summary of Trevor's servant attitude.

Trevor asked if he could teach. Trevor asked to teach in the series to keep the flow going to stay in step with what I have planned for the rest of the semester. Trevor met with me on Monday to talk about what I had done in the first two messages. Trevor met with me on Thursday to go through his outline. Aside - here he taught me humility. I am not the greatest teacher or Bible scholar for that matter but he sat down and walked through his outline to get my feedback. He was respecting me as the shepherd of that certain group of people and wanted me to know where he was headed. Trevor signed up for this all the while still doing his work for the Reclamation. Trevor asked me if I had any announcements for Sunday. Trevor asked about time, multimedia, etc... Trevor stopped by the hospital on Saturday to see us!

Trevor made work a joy this week. So here's what I learned. In any organization, if you believe in the people you are working with, they have proved themselves competent at what they do and you all possess a servant attitude, your organization will grow from the inside out! It's not all about you and climbing up the ladder to be successful. Rather, it's all about you and helping build the ladder for others to climb up so you all can be successful.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Adah's HOME!

We finally have pictures of our kids with the color pink in them! Adah is loved by her brothers!

We had a great day on Saturday as several people came to visit us. Julie really enjoyed the room service menu as she was able to order anything for each meal! She had a huge helping of Texas French Toast each morning! Eryn brought Denver Ted's Philly Chesse Steak sandwiches by! Oh, they were amazing! We also enjoyed just having time to talk as the baby was in the nursery.

Noah and Josiah stopped by on Saturday too! Noah brought her a fuzzy dog and Josiah brought her a doll. They both made her cards. Josiah's was hard to figure out what it was. Here's what was on Noah's card to her in his own words, "I made Adah Jane a card with a big airplane and a lot of shooters (guns for the layperson)." Very thoughtful!

Everything is a go with this beautiful addition!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Adah Jane

It's a girl! Adah joined our family at 7:33 on February 24, 2006 - HER DUE DATE! She was 7 lbs and 18 1/2 inches long! Her name means, "beautiful addition!"

We arrived at the hospital at 5:00!

We had everyone and anyone that you can imagine here for the birth. Banes, Coombs, Lords, Fishes, Hodges, Will, Al & Laura, Emma, Kellen, Maddox, Logan, Noah, Josiah, Bob and Debbie.

Adah is doing extremely well. She is in great health! Her apgar was a 9. I have to brag for a minute.

Our pediatrician came in and said, "First of all, your daughter is so beautiful. There are six girls down there right now and they are cute, but yours just stood out to me!"

The beautiful addition indeed!

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Due Date & A Funeral

Today is an interesting day in my life. I am presiding over the funeral service of a friend's mom at 11:00 a.m. I am honored to be a part of this service for my friends Paul and Stacy. Stacy is Chris' sister. Chris is married to my wife's sister, Lisa. Paul lost his mom on Saturday.

Not to mention today is the due date of our child. We think the kid is coming today, we are just praying it isn't during the funeral.

I will talk more on this later, but this day could be a day filled with emotions.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Beautiful Prayer

I was surfing some random blogs yesterday (I hardly ever do it). I came across a post from an OBGYN Doc who described an incident she had with a patient who prayed right before her operation.

True Beauty Post

What I loved about this post is the picture it paints of what I believe a true follower of Jesus Christ looks like living in this world!

I want the students in our ministry to live like this.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

High School Bracket Time!!!!!!

Tonight it's time to bust out the brackets for the Boys State Basketball Tournament! The 4a and 5a brackets are out.

Here - 4a

Here - 5a

Here are the 4a schools that made it to the tournament that are a part of our ministry:

D'Evelyn, Ralston Valley & Golden. D'Evelyn is #1 in the state in 4a! We have students in our ministry that play for D'Evelyn.

Here are the 5a schools that made it to the tournament that are a part of our ministry:

Chatfield, ThunderRidge, Dakota Ridge, Bear Creek & Columbine. We have students in our ministry that play for ThunderRidge, Dakota Ridge, Bear Creek & Columbine!

I can't wait to get to some games next week after the baby is born! One cool side note, my good friend Cory from Noah's Ark will be a referee throughout the tournament and at the D'Evelyn home game on Saturday night at 7:30!

Blog Rage

I knew it would eventually happen. I had my first bout of blog rage last night. I came across a blog that was ripping on John Piper.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! He wrote a piece entitled "Don't Waste Your Cancer." This was his personal response to the news that he had prostate cancer. The blogger had a problem with his points.

The blogger went on and on about how Piper throws Bible verses out in painful situations and probably has horrible bedside manners with people who are dying.

I just can't understand how using Scripture to answer life problems is a problem. I love what John Piper says in this piece. Suffering is a part of God's plan. It was for His perfect Son Jesus and it is for His imperfect son, Dan. I love how Paul encourages God's children in Romans 8:17 "Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

If I want the glory then I am asking for the pain. And the pain is nothing compared to what I will inherit.

Walking the road to Calvary isn't in flip-flops, wearing Oakley's, listening to the David Crowder Band on your Ipod while drinking a fruit drink out of a pineapple. It's about calculating each step, find the sovereignty of God in each breath and longing for the glory of the life that is to come. As Paul concludes in the next verse, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

When I got up with Josiah in the middle of the night I was still thinking about how I could only throw Bible verses at myself to comfort me and help my wounded heart.

Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture - 2

I love how Walt starts this book out quoting a Tom Petty song and encouraging us to make the words of the song our prayer for this generation of students.

"Lost Children"

To conclude his first chapter Walt takes a hard look at the movie Thirteen. It was written by a 13 year old girl! It's the story of a cute, straight A student morphing into a rebellious teenager. He uses the following phrases to describe the crying and dying culture that Thirteen depicts exists within our culture and then expands on each of them.

"We're changing, confused, and vulnerable."

"Our support systems aren't working and they are stressing us out."

"We need a place to belong."

"We're hurting, and hurting deeply."

"Will you be here for us."

I like Walt's challenge and rebuke towards the church at the end, "Sadly, some in the church disapprove of films like Thirteen and the world it reflects, retreating back from its messy reality into the safety of a cloistered existence. After all, if we don't look at the ugliness, it won't be able to do anything to us and we won't have to do anything about it."

Then end of this chapter has challenged me to ask myself a few questions, "Will I look at the ugliness? Will I let the ugliness affect me? Will I listen about the ugliness before I speak into the ugliness?"

It's interesting to note that herein lies a tension as it relates to working in the church with families who want cute, straight A students. How do you families embrace the reality of the world their teenagers live in and see it as their mission to equip their teens, who possess knowledge of the TRUTH, to make a difference for eternity in the lives of their peers?

Or maybe we need to ask another question first, "How many of our church teenagers feel the exact same way as the girl in Thirteen and have no one to listen to them?"

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Today's My Pick and Here's the Boys' Pic!

Today is the day I picked for the baby to be born. I picked it for no other reason than all of our kids birthdays would be 2 days apart (17, 19, 21 and in order of kid)! Nice! So here is Noah and Josiah waiting anxiously for their new brother or sister today. Noah's official take is a girl and he thinks we should name her Emma. Josiah's official take is a boy and he thinks we should name him Kellen. To bad for them that our friends (the Hodges) already used those names for their girl and boy!

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Emergent Peter?

I have really enjoyed reading Scot McKnight's blog! I am really interested in something that he started today and I thought I would pass it on. He is looking at the book of 1st Peter "...as a reflective theology and a set of churches in an emerging situation!"

The first post is here.

I am really interested where this study is heading for my own personal growth in the Word.

Esther 2:1-18

"God's Choice for Queen of Persia!"

Chapter 2 of Esther has to be one of the most fascinating narratives in the Old Testament. We dove head first this past Sunday into finding out how Esther became God's choice for Queen.

In a land that hated God and his people we find God moving behind the scenes again here in chapter 2. Why doesn't the King replace the Queen with someone of nobility? Why does he bring in 400 virgins from all over the land?

We meet Mordecai and Esther in this narrative. Mordecai adopts Esther after her mother and father died. Can you imagine being orphaned in a land that wanted to get rid of your kind of people? Can you imagine being taken into the Harem of the King that wanted to get rid of your people? It's interesting to note in this narrative that the passive voice is used in several Hebrew words as it relates to Esther. We find a woman who is very passive and is simply the result of other peoples choices.

So how is this Jewish girl going to be out 399 other virgins to win the King's favor? Outward beauty & a night with the King?! No way! God doesn't use those things to bring about His will, does He? He uses men like Joseph who resist temptation. He uses men like Daniel who don't obey the King.

Here we find Esther gaining influence with the eunuch in charge of her and ultimately with the King himself! She wins! God wins!

It's interesting to note in this narrative the clash of two Kings, Almighty God and Xerxes. We find this out about Xerxes in chapter 1: 4, "For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty." Notice how Xerxes is flaunting himself! He truly believes that the story is all about him! But there is something he doesn't know! There is a King that is above all KINGS and we find out about him in 2 Chronicles 29:11 "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all."

What Xerxes doesn't know is that there is a God working in the land. There is a God who will not forget the covenant with his people and wants nothing more than to provide a way out when the deck is stacked against them. He will use any and all means necessary to accomplish HIS MISSION.

I think it's so hard for us to live with this tension. That God doesn't always use moments like Daniel and Joseph had to accomplish His will. He uses moments like Esther, and if we were completely honest with ourselves we would admit that we see God using us more like he did Esther rather than Joseph! Not literally, but with the sense that He is somewhere behind the scenes working all things for His good.

I closed our time with a story of two college kids getting drunk and then having sex 33 years ago in a college dorm room. It was there first and only date. Why is this significant? It's how my life started!

And somehow, in some mysterious way, God is using it to bring glory to himself!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture - 1

I've started reading this book and I am quickly finding out that it is a book that I am going to read real slow. My hope is to post a lot on the truth in this book and its challenges. Today will be just one small part of chapter 1!

Walt Mueller has a great website - CPYU, which is a great resource of information for those who are looking to bridge "Teen Worldviews and Christian Truth," the subtitle of this book.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section is his analysis on the postmodern worldview and the world teens live in. The second section (which I am really looking forward to) is going to deal with the phenomenon of our culture and how followers of Christ are called to approach it. The third and final section is going to map out a strategy for engagning the soul of the youth culture!

In his first chapter (additional resources for this chapter HERE), "Reality Bytes - Snapshots of a Crying and Dying Culture" he gives a great picture of the crying and dying that is taking place in the home. After speaking in a seminar a mom came up to him and read a poem her daughter had written. Things had been going well in their relationship until she turned twelve and it all began to unravel. The mom was lost. So was her daughter. Listen to her daughters words, "Somehow I lost my mouth. Somehow you lost your ears."

I want to ask you, which came first? Did the daughter lose her mouth, or did the mom lose her ears?

Walt suggests, and I believe it, we have lost the capability to listen to teenagers. Listen to his words, "Instead...of leading the young to soul-satisfying 'bread of life' (Jn. 6:35) and 'streams of living water' (Jn. 7:38) we may have unknowingly locked the bread box and shut off the water valve through our inability or unwillingness to hear the nuances of their unique worldview and experience before attempting to answer their cries." - I love this sentence!

When we aren't connecting with teenagers our first look needs to be off of them and in the mirror at ourselves. Are we locking the bread box and shutting off the water valve because we aren't using our ears twice as much as our mouths?

Here's a thought when it comes to engaging the soul of youth culture. To you students, we as your leaders, parents and teachers will start evaluating our effectiveness with you based on whether or not we listened more to you rather than talked down at you!

There's no question our youth need guidance, but how can we guide them if we haven't heard them?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Last weekend as a father of 2!

More than likely this is my last weekend as a father of 2. Julie is scrapbooking with a bunch of her friends on Friday and Saturday. All of the dads are watching the kids. Sunday will be a day of relaxation and getting a few more things ready for the baby.

It's weird to think that next weekend I will probably be a dad of three, as our due date is Friday, and we went early with Josiah! I have really enjoyed my boys. They are so much fun and both very unique. I can't wait to see if we are having a boy or a girl. It's been fun thinking through the dynamics of three boys or the boys having a younger sister!

I am so excited to see how God will grow our hearts to love another child! Julie's excited...she will have another kid to put in a scrapbook!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Out of Solitude

I have been reading through Henri J.M. Nouwen's book, Out of Solitude. One little part has been on my heart this week. Oh, does this rock me to the core!

Mark 1:35 "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."

"I want to reflect on this lonely place in our lives. Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our lives are in danger. Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure. Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our actions quickly become empty gestures. The balance between silence and words, withdrawal and involvement, distance and closeness, solitude and community forms the basis of the Christian life and should therefore be the subject of our most personal attention."

Silence, withdrawal, distance, and solitude are almost foreign words to me. I need to start paying more attention to these words.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Big Moo - 1

Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable! That's what Seth Godin is promoting in the book he edited which contains 33 different authors who give their thoughts on how to create the BIG MOO!

A big moo is something remarkable, something that completely changes the game!

The book has a website - The Big Moo.

All of the authors are donating the proceeds of this book.

You can learn more about the 33 authors HERE!

I love how Seth states pursuing the Big Moo.

"There isn't a logical, proven, step-by-step formula you can follow. Instead, there's a chaotic path through the woods, a path that includes side routes encompassing customer service, unconventional dedication, unparalleled leadership, and daring to dream. Is this a path worth staying on? Only if you want to grow. Only if you're tired of being a cog..."

I wonder which chaotic path this book will take me through? I wonder how I will grow personally? I wonder what I will find out about my student ministry? My church?

I can't wait to grow!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Worship as Wonder

I really like this book. My friend Frank recommended it to me a couple of years ago. Thanks Frank!

My senior pastor reminded me how much I liked it when he quoted one of my favorite parts of the book in his sermon on Sunday.

“Too much of our time is spent trying to chart God on a grid, and too little time is spent allowing our hearts to feel awe… There are things you cannot understand, and you must learn to live with this. Not only must you learn to live with this, you must learn to enjoy this.”

“At the end of the day, when I am lying in bed and I know the chances of any of our theology being exactly right are a million to one, I need to know that God has things figured out, that if my (theories) are wrong we are still going to be okay… I don’t think there is any better worship than wonder.”

My heart is wandering towards the wonder of birth. As we wait for the arrival of our third child in the next 10 days my heart is captured with wonder...and it's worship! There really is nothing better!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

No Medal...NO PROBLEM for Kelly Clark!

A big thanks goes out to my GUIDO for putting me on to this article written by Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post today while I was studying Esther 2!

Clark Refuses to Hide Her Faith

Apparently Kelly Clark who took fourth last night in the half-pipe loves Jesus!

If you missed her run it was out of this world. She was getting HUGE air as she flew down the pipe! She busted out a 900 degree spin at the end of her run that got me off the couch! I was like, "NO WAY!" She just missed her landing for what would of given her a Gold Medal and a run that would not be forgotten!

When responding to taking fourth she said, "I love Jesus. It's more joyful knowing him than all that snowboarding stuff. And so being able to snowboard for him is amazing."

Snowboarding for him is amazing! How many of us do what we do for him? Snowboard, teach, preach, sell shoes, wait tables, run powerpoint, clean the house, love our kids...you name it, it's all for Him! Thanks for the reminder Kelly, on the biggest stage in the world, you made it all about HIM!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Esther 1:1-22

"God's Invitation to a Raging Party"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Esther chapter one is filled with materialism, partying, drinking alcohol and treating a woman like she was a piece of dirt! Our focus was specifically on where is God in the midst of a story where His name is never mentioned, a prayer is never uttered, a miracle doesn't happen and there is no vision? Did God get an invitation to Xerxes 187 day bash? Why does this book of the Bible start out with a raging party that doesn't seem to end?
Even though God isn't mentioned in the text we can see his fingerprints all over the story. Our focus on Sunday was on the fact the fact that God is in all the details of life, even in the raging parties. We talked about Him being present even when it doesn't appear that he got an invitation. He uses the ordinary things of life to accomplish His extraordinary purposes. Too often we look for God in the burning bush and we miss him working in the lives of those who don't love Him.
Our community knows how God uses the horrible things in life for His good. We saw God's grace and purposes through the death of several students at Columbine several years ago. We saw God use the actions of boys who apparently didn't love Him for His glory! \
Even when God doesn't seem to be present...HE IS! God is using the King's partying and the dismissal of his wife as Queen to set the stage for Esther. God is taking a man who wants to display the vast wealth of his kingdom and the slendor of his majesty throughout the land and making him subject to the real King whose majesty is beyond compare.
We closed with a quote from Bono's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Even though Esther 1 wasn't the text he spoke on, he echoed the message of Esther 1 as he talked about the heart of God being in the everyday horrors of some people's lives as it relates to the aids crisis,

"God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house… God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives… God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war… God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. 'If you remove the yolk from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom with become like midday and the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places'"

There is no question for most of us that God is with us when we feel Him during the good times, but we must not forget that He is just as present with us when we don't feel Him or see Him. He is right there in the midst of our loneliness, our pain, our disappointment. He is working all things together for His good!
He's right in the middle of a book of the Bible where His name isn't mentioned!
I can't wait for Esther 2!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Seth Godin Makes Me Think

I don't know who turned me on to Seth and his work but I am grateful for the recommendation! Seth makes me think. His work has been mainly read (I am assuming) by those in the business world, but I am finding that his work is making me a better leader in the church! Thanks Seth! I am reading two of his books right now that I will talk about in another blog!

Here's an example! His blog, a link over to the right on my blog list, and one that I read each day, got me thinking with this POST and then THIS POST which is part 2!

He made me think about how well do I hear, listen and act with those that I lead and serve in our ministry when they are talking with me.

I am wondering if I have make it possible for those surrounding me to know that I will hear what they are saying, listen to what they are saying and then act on what they are saying. I hope I am not like the dude at Eata Pita

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Dancing Trombone DUDE!!

A big thanks to my brother-in-law Jason for sending me this link from the Steve Harvey Show.

The Dancing Trombone Dude!

This clip just makes me want to get DOWN!!!!!

It reminds me of my sister-in-laws husband Chris!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Esther - 1

This week our high school ministry will start our study of Esther. As we head out of Romans 8 I can think of no better Old Testament book to study to make Romans 8:28 come alive, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Here's where we start with Esther.

- Nothing to connect it to the OT except the word Jews.
- No mention of God’s divine name Yahweh or Elohim.
- No prayer.
- No visions.
- No concern for the law of God.No miracles.

So why teach the book? First, Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Every week we open this story we are going to find HOPE!

Second, to hammer into my heart and the hearts of our students that God often uses the ordinary to accomplish His extraordinary plans and purposes in our lives, in our families, in our communities and in our nations. To often we look for God in the burning bush experiences of life and we miss him working through a conversation, a sunset, bad choices, impure motives...you name it!

God may not be mentioned by name, but He is the STAR of the story! I am hoping that the very fact that God's name isn't mentioned will turn our students hearts to His work in their lives when He doesn't seem present! More to come...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Bono at the National Prayer Breakfast

On February 2nd Bono spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast. I would of had no clue had Tim not told me! Thanks Tim.

I really enjoyed reading the transcript and I felt like he had some things to say that I needed to hear. Here are some of his thoughts.

"One of the things that I picked up from my father and my mother was the sense that religion often gets in the way of God."

"Seeing what religious people, in the name of God, did to my native land… and in this country, seeing God's second-hand car salesmen on the cable TV channels, offering indulgences for cash… in fact, all over the world, seeing the self-righteousness roll down like a mighty stream from certain corners of the religious establishment…I must confess, I changed the channel. I wanted my MTV."

"I'd always read the Scriptures, even the obscure stuff. There it was in Leviticus (25:35)…"

Speaking about AIDS, "The church was slow but the church got busy on this the leprosy of our age. Love was on the move. Mercy was on the move. God was on the move."

"When churches started demonstrating on debt, governments listened—and acted. When churches starting organising, petitioning, and even—that most unholy of acts today, God forbid, lobbying… on AIDS and global health, governments listened—and acted.
I'm here today in all humility to say: you changed minds; you changed policy; you changed the world."

"God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house… God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives… God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war… God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. 'If you remove the yolk from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom with become like midday and the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places'"

Monday, February 06, 2006

A Sad Day....yesterday!

It's the end of football until the draft! Who cares about the Pro Bowl? I am excited to see what the Broncos do in the draft and who they pick up in free agency!

A sad day...no more REAL football until September! I guess I will have to resort to playing football on my Xbox!

Is the baby done?

This morning we were reminded by Josiah that our 3rd child is almost here! He looked up at Julie this morning, patted her tummy and said, "Baby almost done!"

We can hardly wait to welcome our third child into the world! We are so excited to find out whether it's a boy or a girl! The excitment of not knowing the sex of this child has created a lot of great conversations and we are both so excited to welcome our 3rd son into the world, or our first princess!

As far as names go...we don't have any! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Clean - Romans 8:31-39

This week we are finishing our series on Romans 8. Specifically we are looking at verses 31-39.

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Great thoughts as we head into the weekend. God is the answer to every question posed and all of it leads to the unbelievable truth that nothing will seperate those who have been made clean from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Super Super Bowl Story

Apparently there is a story worth mentioning from Media Day yesterday at Super Bowl XL!

Mike Holmgren's wife and one of their daughters is missing the game! Can you believe it? They are going to be serving in a medical mission in Africa and were given a satellite phone to call Mike when the game is over to find out if his team won the game!

What a great story! What a great reminder! A reminder that on Sunday when most of us are scrambling to get our dips made and the food ready before kickoff there are people who are serving around the world and meeting the real needs of humanity.

How hard would it be for a company advertising on Sunday to take a million out of their commercial budget and send it with Kathy and her daughter? This is a great story line and a great reminder to all of us that Sunday's game in the grand scheme of life is extremely meaningless. Let's take some time at kick off to pray for Kathy and those we know serving that day halfway across the world and making a difference one person at a time!

Article by Don Banks of Sports Illustrated - "Fantastic Journeys"