Archive for June 2008

Sunday Funday

June 30, 2008
  • Our Elementary Ministry could not meet in the Cafeteria today, so we had to use the gym. Turns out, the gym COMPLETELY ROCKS. Far more room, less smelly, better lighting, and better sound. Good stuff.
  • We talked about how Servant Leaders are Reliable.
  • New wireless mics – 20x better than previous stuff.
  • Met some very cool people at our Partnership Class after church. One dude told me he had not been living like he knew he should, had been getting our postcards, then one day hit a brick wall with his job. That was his breaking point and he decided to give God and church one last chance. That was 3 weeks ago and he said the past 3 weeks at OLC have rocked his world (and his family).
  • The previous comment makes getting up at 4:30am on Sundays much easier.
  • 3 weeks from today we are back at the movie theatre. Fun times.
  • Looking forward to hanging out with a few thousand people this Friday at Delinger Park – July 4th.
  • After some cosmic bowling with the staff tonight, I told Dana just how lucky we are to have the chemistry we do on our staff. Yeah, sure, tons of different personalities. But, it’s amazing just how well everyone gets along. All 150% committed to the God-given mission. All bustin’ our tales to reach more people.

Incredible Support (Family)

June 27, 2008

Dana and I are VERY lucky to have incredible family that supports us. Usually for a week or so every summer, my parents and her parents grab 2 kids each (reminder: we have 4!) to give us a break. (Who am I kidding, it’s really to give Dana a break. Plus, they just love their grandkids.) Here’s two pics from my mom’s cell phone of their recent activities with our two oldest. I’m proud of you Nana & Pop – you did a ton in just a few days. Rest is coming soon!

Blue Angels in Huntsville, AL
4 grandkids, one old dude, a boat, a dock, and some smelly fish

Not included: Water Park
Not included: Grandparents pulling their hair out. (just kidding)

The Chaos Within

June 27, 2008

It’s everywhere, I’m convinced. I’ve seen it in couples. Families. Organizations. Churches. Anything that involves people. The outward/inward thing. On the outside a couple appears fine. But on the inside they are on step number 4 towards divorce (and there are only 5 steps). Families – there used to be birthday celebrations and fish frys, but now they are lucky if the family even gets together for Christmas anymore. Organizations – the numbers are up and everything looks great…but soon, the inward office turmoil that was successfully kept secret for 2.5 years seeps out and things sink quick. Churches – lots of good smiles on Sunday morning and lots of people in place…everybody doing their thing…but inwardly some staff member or volunteer is on the brink of disaster and nobody knows it.

It’s the chaos within.

Not sure why this phrase popped in my head. Thinks are surprisingly calm in my world right now…but I’m up late thinking about the turmoil that people go through each day. And I think about the question my great wife thinks about whenever we face trials of our own: “How in the world does anyone go through these tough times without Christ? I don’t see how they make it.”

And while I think about these different life situations, all sharing the same common bond of inward chaos, I immediately think of this verse:

“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Col 1:17 (read whole chapter HERE)

Since He is the Creator of all things, He is also the Sustainer of all things. And He is the peace of the inward chaos. He is the hope of the inward one day matching the outward. He is the one to cling to. The One to never give up on – He’s certainly not given up on you. The One that when your life is surrendered to Him, all things become new and the inward stands a chance now…after all, it is free.

He is Jesus.

Quote(s) of the Day

June 26, 2008

“From here on out, underdog does not mean anything. Write it down. Underdog does not mean anything. We showed anything can happen.”

“It’s mind over matter. It’s just a little pain. The pain is temporary. Pride is forever.”

– Fresno State Baseball players after winning the College World Series

I was pulling for UGA. Oh well.
Full story HERE.

Quick Swim, Anyone?

June 26, 2008

An early sign that I would one day end up in ministry, specifically with kids:

As a kid, I used to daydream in church just how cool it would be for a pool liner to be laid out all through the church, the church filled to the top with water, a hole cut in the roof, and then scuba dive all throughout the building.

I’m still holding out hope that this can be accomplished.
🙂

What Breath Mints Taught Me Today

June 25, 2008

Driving home from work today, I looked down at the small blue tub of Icebreaker breath mints sitting in my passenger seat. After popping one in my mouth, I observed the 2 tabs. The first says “to share”. The second, naturally, says “not to share”. For those of you who have enjoyed these tasty treats, you know that the “to share” tab is much bigger. When you pop that side open, about 1/2 the top comes open, giving easy access for someone to reach inside and grab one (or more). The “not to share” side only gives a small space, ideal for shaking out one mint for yourself.

So here’s the attempt at illustrating a point. When we get bold and share our lives (example: a journey group at church), or share our stuff (giving is better than receiving), and share our talents and our insights, share our lives by investing in the life of a kid or troubled teen, etc, we’re more open for God’s blessings and more open for great big stuff in our lives – learning from others. Like the mints (yeah, I know it’s a stretch, just stay with me) with the “to share” side, the opportunities are just better. On the opposite end, when you decide not to share and stay selfish with the talents God has given you, it’s easy to become self-centered, self-serving, and miss out on one of the greatest blessings of life – giving of yourself to lift someone else up.

So the challenge: SHARE. Whatever that means for you. Perhaps it’s opening up with a group and sharing a struggle. Maybe it’s sharing a gift you possess with the church, something you’ve been holding back on cause you’ve been nervous about serving. Share your Nintendo DS games – in case my 6 yr old reads this. And my favorite: share your wisdom and life experience and smile with a preschooler or elementary kid at Oak Leaf on Sunday morning. 🙂

by the way: the blue ones are better than the green ones

Bogged but Excited…and hopeful

June 24, 2008

Title says it all. That’s what is shaking in my world right now.

Genuine Friendship

June 22, 2008

I’m currently reading Pop Goes The Church, by Tim Stevens. Highly recommended read for everyone. Lots of good stuff so far. One of my favorite paragraphs comes from the Foreword by Ed Young. Here ya go:

“It is said of Jesus that he was a friend of sinners. That doesn’t mean he tolerated them. That doesn’t mean he took them on as an evangelistic project. It doesn’t even mean he hung out with them out of pity. It means what it says. He was their friend. He cared about their needs, listened to their problems, and helped them in whatever situation to understand that God loved them – Jesus loved them. In fact, I might be making a stretch here (but I don’t think so) in saying that he might have preferred hanging out with the sinners because there was no pretense or religious hypocrisy. His harshest criticism was not for the sinners but for the religious leaders of the day. He saw their rituals and legalism as oppressive, hypocritical, and extremely opposed to the spirit of the law. The law had become god and God had become (or seemed) irrelevant. Sound familiar? The law was meant to drive people into the loving embrace of the Father, not away from him.”

Pool Rulz

June 21, 2008

Took 3 of the kids to the pool by myself yesterday. (I do not necessarily suggest this…take 3 preschoolers to the pool by yourself at your own risk.)

A few observations:

  • Lots of swimming makes kids tired…therefore, they go to bed easier. Thank you pool. 🙂
  • My 2 yr old has no fear of the water – none whatsoever. He’s jumping in like it’s a bowl of jello.
  • If a frog appears poolside, it will capture all kid’s attention. It will keep their attention for over 1/2 an hour. Consequently, the frog will eventually be crushed by some kid who squeezes too hard. Sorry frog.
  • I’m trying to get better about turning off ministry stuff in my mind and enjoying the moment – with my kids, at the pool.

Off to the lake today. More water, more fun.
Hope to see everyone at OLC tomorrow.

Today’s Prayer

June 19, 2008

My prayer today comes from the song HOSANNA.

“Break my heart for what breaks Yours”

Wow, I’m Slower Than I Thought

June 18, 2008

TEST YOUR SKILLS

U do the math

June 17, 2008

Ok, we all know that ministry cannot be reduced down to a formula. However, I’m curious. What would you put in the following: (feel free to explain your answers or not)

__________ + ____________ = “Successful” Children’s Ministry

No Matter What – HAVE FUN

June 16, 2008

Ok, super deep spiritual stuff comin’ your way today. 🙂

I’m determined to look for more moments of fun in life. Here’s what I mean: it’s way too easy to get bogged down in the details of your job or be frustrated with your kid’s behavior or stressed over whatever whatever…God did not intend for life to be this way – in fact, quite the opposite. Lately, I’m just learning to relax more (not as in a Lazy Boy Recliner) and realize that if we honor God and honor our employer by working diligently, we can trust God with the results.

I’m a goofy dude (extremely). God wired me to be a dork. And I like FUN. It’s important. And when I’m “in my element”, I like to laugh and make others laugh. This week’s mission: seek out fun, enjoy what God has blessed us with. Work your tail off, have fun doing it.

One thing I’ve concluded…

June 16, 2008

…ok, maybe a few…

  • life is way too short to worry all the time
  • think of the biggest thing you could think of for your life and for your ministry – FACT: God wants to do 20x that, for His glory.
  • i have to have a lot more Sundays like today – one in which i purposely put myself in front of tons of parents and guests and kids…yet, all the details have to be covered too, all planning has to be done, all volunteers have to be in place.
  • fact: i probably said Thank You about 40 times today. fact: i was probably 28 short.
  • the only way to get your kids to swim is to throw them in the water. the fear will eventually subside.
  • tiger woods is a stinkin’ beast. playing hurt like he did this weekend and forcing a playoff is outstanding. i think anthony grotto, our executive pastor at oak leaf, sounds like tiger when he talks.
  • dana and i need a vacation…like on a regular basis…you know, the kind you take every year – not every other year or once every 3 years.
  • my dad is a great dad. happy father’s day Pop!

Both Sad & Funny

June 15, 2008

Longest Question Ever?

VIDEO

Sticking With What Works

June 15, 2008

What us Auburn fans like to hear:

CLICKY

lazy saturday morning

June 14, 2008

no agenda this morning – has been great!

  • played TMNT on my kid’s DS. helped them defeat the game. (Fatherly duty, eh?)
  • put out Oak Leaf road signs yesterday – and had an awesome group show up to help.
  • saw the Hulk last night (8 out of 10) and then Dana and I got to hang with some good friends (10 out of 10).
  • taking my 2 oldest to bday party today – swimming pool – should be fun.
  • did i read the internet correctly this morning?! the Braves actually won last night??!!!
  • i allowed Dana to sleep in this morning, fixed the kids some biscuits. ummmm…ok, “sleeping in” was 9am. that’s all i could handle by myself. 🙂
  • i’m J-A-Z-Z-E-D up about tomorrow morning. can’t wait to see some familiar faces and meet some new parents and kids and get it all crankin’ at 6am. bring the heat!

I’m old…but not really

June 12, 2008

I’m only 31…but dude, I have felt very old lately. We have some great volunteers at Oak Leaf, and recently, around the office, most have been either just out of high school or just out of college. Dude, that’s anywhere from 9 – 13 years younger than me!

(Those in their 40’s and up are telling me to shut up right now. I know this. Still, can’t help it.)

The Day I Stole the Mormon’s Ties

June 11, 2008

I was at Goodwill today, shopping for some neckties. (Come to Oak Leaf Church Sunday morning to find out why.) As I was pulling some off the rack, I noticed 2 Mormon missionary dudes shopping in the next aisle…also looking at ties (and dress clothes). Well, I ended up purchasing the whole rack of ties – only 25 cents a piece – before they walked over to that particular section. I needed a bunch.

Yes, indeed, I know what you are thinking.
Rebel.
🙂

Phrase of the Week

June 11, 2008

Used by my pastor this past Sunday morning, on stage:
“Criss Cross Applesauce”

For better understanding, go to http://www.oakleafchurch.com and watch the first video of Crossing Over series.

Excellent Reporting

June 10, 2008

My good friend Stephen Hauck recently did some creative reporting.

VIDEO HERE

Excellent work dude.
I’ll say about a 9.6 on the dive.

Random Restaurant Idea

June 9, 2008

Had a good idea (maybe) for a restaurant the other day, while driving around.

The Gathering Place
Eat good food. Make a big difference.

The general idea would be that each week, some (most) of the money made would go toward a local charity. The restaurant may be only open a couple nights each week. Different themes would take place. Different local and regional chefs would come in and give of their time, since it is for charity. The cost would not be outrageous, but not cheap either…after all, you are eating good food and giving for a great cause. The details are blurry, but I just like the whole idea. Plus, I thought the tag line was good. 🙂

Knives?….play on!

June 8, 2008

The scene: Me and the fam went to a Mexican restaurant last night before going to the Summer Concert Series in downtown C’ville (where we did some serious Baptist dancin’!). Logan, my 5 yr old, was horsin’ around with his fork and knife. I asked him to put it down and when I did, my 6 yr old said, “Oh Dad, it’s ok if he hurts his hand, there are nurses behind us.” We had a good laugh as we turned around and saw three ladies, in scrubs, sitting at the booth directly behind us. After almost spitting my food out from laughter, I first said, “Very observant son.” And then I turned and told the nurses the story. They got a good kick out of it and said they were Operating Room nurses…and playing along, one of them said she “could amputate” if necessary.

Hmmm. Alrighty. My dinner didn’t quite look the same after that.
🙂

Hugs

June 7, 2008

If you’ve never seen THIS VIDEO about hugs, then welcome to the internet.
🙂

It got me thinking about my days at Auburn. I hung around some hugging freaks. I myself was a hugging freak. Where have those days gone? Oh, I don’t miss it too bad…but man, we need to get some huggin’ goin’ on around C’ville!…ok, maybe I do miss it.

Ha.
Spread the love.

The Good, The Bad, and The….What?!

June 7, 2008


Went to the Braves game last night with my little bro from Auburn. We had a blast. Here’s what you need to know:

THE GOOD:

  • Got a $100 valued ticket for only 30 bucks. (Included access into VIP area in the outfield and $10 voucher for food.)
  • Above pic is where we were sitting – 24 rows back from home plate.
  • Brian McCann hit a two run blast to right field. Cool stuff.
  • Hangin’ with my little bro Justin was fun. He knows sports and knows how to have a good time at sporting events.
  • Parking was easy. (That was a surprise!)
  • As I do with most places, I analyzed what they did for families/kids and brainstormed on ideas for Oak Leaf.

THE BAD:

  • The Braves lost their 17th one run game of the season. Ouch. Whatduyado?
  • Top of the ninth, 2 outs, Braves get the batter to pop up, routine fly ball, our 2nd baseman (Kelly Johnson) drops it. Tough luck. They tie it and win in the 10th.
  • That’s a shame cause my boy Tim Hudson, from Auburn, pitched a phenomenal game.
  • Got rained on a little, no big deal though.

THE WHAT?!:

  • In the 9th, me and my bro start walking out toward the right field exit so we could dash to our cars and get out before the jam. We plop a seat out there and after about 10 minutes of sitting there, a security guy asked us to move. We were sitting right above the tunnel/gate where the field crew runs out to pretty-up the infield. The security dude said, “Yeah, gentlemen, if you would please move…we cannot permit anyone to sit right here.” We look around, kinda laughin’…really, almost thinking it was a joke. We asked why and he wouldn’t say. He really didn’t seem all that serious about it, and he walked off. We just kind of looked at each other and kept watching the game. 10 seconds later, another security guy walked up and said the same thing…but he was much more serious. To us, it didn’t make much sense. We had already been there for 10+ minutes and they were just normal seats. It was not roped off or anything. We get up this time, obeying his request, but we certainly asked WHY?. He told us that last week someone fell to their death, right where we were seated…in to the tunnel below us, where the field crew guys were. Still thinking that he was joking…or maybe not…we said, “Really?!…cmon man…seriously?” Anyways, we didn’t argue with him, we just moved.

Sadly, at home now, I find THIS story. The security dude wasn’t kidding. My heart goes out to the Hayes’ family.

Friday’s Pic

June 6, 2008

The highlight of my kid’s do so far is seeing the big Ortho Ant outside Lowe’s in C’ville.

Inspiration without Revelation

June 5, 2008

Great word from Perry Noble HERE.

What Are You Looking For?

June 4, 2008

Talked to a buddy recently who said he was looking for excitement…within his church. He so badly wants there to be passion stirring, hearts bustin’ at the seams, lives being changed, and well…just excitement.

I remember over 2 years ago, after helping launch Oak Leaf, and then as we got rolling month after month, I remember telling Dana, “I love being part of a God movement where there is energy and excitement. There are challenges. There is a HUGE mission. It’s just exciting and I love being part of it.”

That same zeal is present now. I love being part of something exciting…challenging…life changing…important. I’ve grown more in the past 2 years than I had in the previous…well, a long time. Thank you Oak Leaf (people). You are a huge blessing to me and my family. You’ve strengthened my family and have renewed a hunger within me to share the Gospel – at all times, to everyone.

Excitement: not unspiritual to look for.

Did I Really?

June 3, 2008

Did I really stay up late to watch a hockey game? I thought the Red Wings had the Stanley Cup wrapped up last night, but the Penguins held tough and took game 5 in 3 OT’s. Man, staying up late for a hockey game….what’s wrong with me? It aint college football, but I suppose semi-entertaining.

Officially Kicked Out

June 2, 2008

Well, my wife has officially kicked me out. Done. Over. No more. My stuff is currently in boxes. Yep, she’s taken over our home office. My Auburn football helmet is no longer wanted. My “I might need this one day” junk is boxed up as well. My diploma, on the floor. Her brand new diploma, now on the wall. And it wouldn’t be official without other new changes: she’s got fru-fru curtains up, nice artsy pics on the wall… and worse yet, the office now smells good. Gee, next thing I know we’ll be using the home office for actual work and not as a storage unit. 🙂

And since I share a church office with 2 other people, I’m hunting for some space. I think I may buy an old painter’s van and just office out of it. 🙂