Wednesday, January 28, 2009


We are planning our next leg of this journey in ministry as we leave the church I have served at with my family as Pastor of student ministry and media for about a year and a half. It's a bitter sweet kind of thing. We're very excited to follow the call God has put on our lives, but at the same time we have made so many amazing relationships during our time here that are so difficult to leave.

I've told our students many times in the past that as we follow God, it's rarely easy. The life of a Christian is not a comfortable one. We should never be comfortable as Christians. God gives us peace, joy, and comfort when we need it most, but as Christians we should allow God to take us to the next level, the next place, the new leg of the journey, and that is generally not a comfy process. It takes us stepping out into unknown territory, it takes us putting control into God's hands and out of ours, it takes us trusting in God even when it may not make sense, or seem possible to us.

This is where we are at, in a place of uncertainty. We know God called has called us, but we don't know what that will actually look like. We are in a place of total dependency on God, which is exactly where we need to be, it's where he wants us to be, which is exactly why as Christians we shouldn't get comfortable. When we're comfortable in our life as a Christian, we tend to depend on ourselves, we don't have to rely on God as much, we don't have to pray for the next step, because we don't want that next step, we like where we're at.

God always has another step waiting for us; it's up to us to take it. It takes dependency on God while taking that step. It doesn't take long after we've taken it however that the next one is there waiting for us. The life as a follower of Christ is one of numerous steps that lead us down the life God created us to live. Some take only one or two of those steps, they end their life never coming close to the full potential God had for them. 

I want to be one who takes every step presented to me from God. I don't want to wait to long, over think or over analyze the next step in front of me. Christianity works best under fire, under persecution, under trial, and in the waiting for answers. It's in those times we are faced with two options, seek God out whole heartedly in a way we never would under comfortable circumstances, or look inward at ourselves. I know from experience that looking inward for answers usually messes things up more, if not in the now then in the later.

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's been awhile

It's been a while since my last posting. Life has been pretty crazy preparing to move into this new leg of our journey. With my little brain God just seems so nuts sometimes. The idea of calling us into a SR pastor position doesn't make sense to me. God has a track record however of doing things that to us seem simply ridiculous. He has a knack for using seemingly insignificant people and places to do uncommonly phenomenal things. He used Abraham at an age none of us will every reach. He used a little tattle-tale brother to become second in command for a global super power. He used as many believe a group of teens and young adult failures to carry on his saving message to the world. He was born in a hick little town that no one of power or prestige ever came from.

And here we are, little people who God has called to do something that to us doesn't make sense, and seems nuts. We're committed to follow him, ridiculous or not, as long as we have breath. God is remarkable, He so misunderstood, so common, so many things to so many people, and yet the more I get to understand the real him, the more I found myself dumbfounded. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jesus Loves Mrs. Robison

Jesus loves Mrs. Robinson, Simon and Garfunkel told her that. As Christians were really good at telling people that Jesus loves them. The whole gospel message screams out "I love you!". You don't have to look very deep into the Bible to see God's love. He loved us so much that he created us with the purpose of having a  loving relationship with him. He gave us freewill so we could choose his love, he sent his only son to this planet to have his little baby butt wiped by his creation, and he was born to die for us. We tend to focus much time and energy explaining how much God loves us, and how he showed us his love. This is great and of course on of the most important messages ever, but when someone comes to Christ it doesn't take much for them to see and experience this love first hand.

I think we should really focus more time and speech on our love toward God. We know how God showed us his love, and how vast his love is for us, but how are we showing God our love for him? We know God was willing to put everything on the line for us, but are we willing to do the same? I think it's great that Mrs. Robinson knows now much Jesus loves her, actually Simon and his friend tell her that she doesn't understand how much Jesus loves her. But I wonder if Jesus knows how much she loves him? Actually, who is Mrs. Robinson anyway?

Anyhow, we will never understand the amount of love God has for us, it's bigger then we can understand. We can't wrap our minds around it, but I bet all to often it's pretty easy for anyone around us to know exactly the extent of our love toward God. I'll bet it wouldn't take long to say, "you love God this much". All to often it's because we generally are not willing to sacrifice our comfort out of our vast love for God because, if we we're honest, our love isn't that vast for him to begin with.

I love talking about Gods love for us, you can go on and on about it, but if I we were to talk about my love for God, the conversation may end pretty quick. It's pretty sad really, we're good at talking and singing about how much we love God, but Jesus took it further than words or a song for us, he proved it by giving up everything he had. I want to live a life that does the same, one that does more then show my love in words, I want to show my love with my life. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Out of Shape

I played racquet ball tonight. I play at least once per week. Tonight though I played one on one which I normally do not do. I think I left one of my lunges on the court. I know my heart exploded six times with little pieces of it all over. Anyway, it's amazing how fast your body can get out of shape. When I raced MTB I would ride for up to 7 hours straight. I was the hight I am now but only weighed 150, had like no body fat, and had legs the size of a average California Coastal Redwoods trunk.

The more crud I eat and put into my body the worse I feel. The less I work out, the weaker and fatter I become. The more I slack off from taking care of myself, the more worse I get. It just doesn't end, I'll continue to grow more and more unhealthy until I get some self control and discipline and work to get in better health. It's amazing how closely related our physical condition is to our Spiritual lives. When you neglect it, you become weaker, you are more prone to so many early death causes, you feel bad about yourself, you can't do as much as you used to, and in the end, you could lose it all.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Something that bugs me.

I thought I would take a short side road tonight just to mix it up a bit and tell you about something that really bugs me. I like movies quite a lot. My favorites are classic films from the 40s and 5os, I enjoy new films also, but there is something that almost every new movie that involves a computer does that makes me want to instantly turn it off. Maybe you've noticed this, but without fail almost any computer, whether it's a mac, a PC, or a futuristic computer that only the government apparently has seems to make beeps, bops, and techie computer sounds anytime anything happens on the computer does anything. Someone can be typing a letter and the computer makes little beeping type sounds, the computer zooms in on a photo and there is another computer sound that I've never heard any computer make in the real world.

For some reason the higher end, and more futuristic the computers seem to be in the move, the more annoying little computer sounds they seem to make. Now, with my computer I have the ability to have it make little sounds for my enjoyment if I'd like, but I can also have it make no sounds at all - my personal preference for most items - however it seems that this feature is not available on high end futuristic computers that only the government and bad guys have, they have to make little sounds to work properly apparently. 

This is true also even with Dells, macs or HPs in movies. For some reason these computers in the movies come loaded with computer sounds that no other computer in the real world has. Anyway, that just really bugs me and ruins movies for me all the time. Why do sound engineers in movies do this? Why do directors think this adds to the scene? Have they just never used a real computer? Anyway, just another side road note about something that bothers me. Why you read this I don't know, but I'm sorry to waist your time.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Jesus' car

My wife and I went to a youth ministry conference a couple months ago. One of the speakers asked the questions "if Jesus were here today, what kind of car would he drive?". Jesus spent all of his time giving to others, he wasn't a wealthy guy, and he taught that we should give and share what we have with others. Could you see Jesus driving an Audi or an Infinity? Or really, any new car for that matter? I'm not sure.

Recently my wife and I were looking to trade-in our current family-mobile which we have outgrown for a larger car. We decided that this time we wanted to get a car with everything we always wanted in it. In the past we would settle for a car that didn't have all the options we really wanted to save a couple bucks in our monthly payment, but we would always regret it in some way. We figured with this new car, if we're going to pay every month on this car till were 80 years old anyway, and this car we really want with all the options will only cost a minimal amount extra per month, why not get this one we really want this time? This lead us to a car we could not realistically afford, and one that had more gadgets and sweet technology then we would ever need... but we wanted it so bad. Even still today we want this car, even after rationalizing it and realizing it would be a financial avalanche for us to purchase it, we still want it - really really bad. 

I wonder what Jesus really thinks about how we spend our money, or the cars we drive, the amount of money we spend on eating out, on Starbucks, or on another pair of pants we don't need, but only want because they'd go great with that new scarf. Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell everything he had, give it to the poor, and follow him. I read this and think, "man, some rich people just have so much and couldn't live without it, I'm glad I'm not like that. But realistically, compared to the world as a whole, if you live in America you are rich. For most of us who are reading this, we're some of the richest people in the world.

I wonder how easy it would be for us to give up everything we have? Our comfy pillow top mattress's, our down pillows, our TV programs, our cushy heated seats in our GPS driven cars. I think many of us would find that it would be tougher then we'd like to think. Am I a rich young ruler? Are we Americans rich young rulers? To much of the world we are. Do we have more then we really need? Are we giving to others as much as we can? The rich young ruler didn't make out so well, are we really that much different? 

It's something that God has been showing me lately; how much I really have, how much I really need, and how attached I really am to my stuff. Even as I write this, my HD TV is playing a classic Fred Astair film, my beautiful mac LED backlit screen is lighting the way as I listen to Sondre Lerche through my headphones that cost more then my parents first car must have and I'm a poor youth pastor! I love my mac, I love my TV and my phone, but I'm more attached to them then I think I've ever realized, and more then I'd like to admit.

Jesus had nothing, he gave everything away down to his own life. As I sit here I think about kids around the world who have gone to bed tonight hungry while I sit here a bit sick in the stomach from to much dinner. There are people out in the freezing cold tonight while my legs are burning up under our heating blanket. I'm not saying these things are bad, I am saying however that as Americans we often have so much stuff, and spend so much on more and more when in the scheme of things - why? If Jesus were to be next to us in his physical body as we shopped for another pair of shoes we don't need, or bought another Grande Iced non fat white Mocha at 165 from the Starbucks that sits in front of that homeless guy, would we feel OK about it? Would Jesus be right there with us doing the same thing?

Jesus said not to store up for ourselves treasure in this world, but rather in Heaven. I look at my treasure here now, and wonder if the money I've spent on them could have been used for something more eternal, something that could have made an eternal impact instead of making my life more comfortable. It's again not that God is against that you buying that new 72 inch LCD, but, well I'm not sure Jesus himself would have the same one. It just is making me more and more sick with myself, and my lifestyle. This is maybe just a late night rant, but it's something that God is making me more and more aware of.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Disneyland moment

I thought it appropriate to include a Disneyland moment from time to time on this blog, just so that I can keep my Disney points standing high. I think once in a while I'll just throw in one of these DL moments with a piece of Disneyland trivia for everyone who doesn't care. My mind is full of more Disneyland trivia and facts then anything else, so here it goes.

Pointless DL fact: 
When you first walk onto Main Street USA, look to your left and you'll see the Disneyland Firehouse. Above this is a window, inside this window is a light. The light you'll notice is always on, this is because this area was Walt's personal apartment. Back in the day, when Walt was in the park, he would have his light burning. Today it is left burning 24-7 in remembrance of Mr. Disney.