December 30, 2008

new years bliss

just in case you forgot.

December 28, 2008

New Series: Redeux

Just incase you didn't catch it the first time...


January Series Promo from Norman Tumlinson on Vimeo.

December 27, 2008

January Series - Forward Motion

This January, in the student ministries, we will be going through a series entitled "Forward Motion". Since we are in the new year frame of mind, you might remember (or maybe are getting ready to set) some new year's resolutions and goals. But what is true for a great deal of us is that we fall short of what we expect to accomplish every year. Unfortunately, it is often the same when we try to become the Christian we feel God has called us to be. We fall short of our goals and become increasingly discouraged. 

In this series we will learn that following Christ is more about the small steps we take everyday, not about huge leaps of faith that we think we need to make. Hopefully through this series, you will learn to set a goal, determine the first step and make it!!!

My great hope with this series is that you will understand the forward motion in your life is a process of next steps more than it is about gigantic leaps.

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas my dear blog readers

To you out there who faithfully read. I wish you a Merry Christmas!! If you just stopped by or are an occasional reader then I wish you a Caffeine-Free-Diet version of Christmas. (just joking!!!) Hope this one is great and that you and your family feel the hope and love of Christ this season.

December 22, 2008

Caffeine Free Diet Coke

This morning I was checking the fridge here at the office and the only cold beverages I had to choose from was Sprite or Caffeine-Free-Diet-Coke. I picked the latter. As this cold concoction slid down my throat I began to taste the difference. I began to see through the illusion...

"Wait one second..." I thought, "this doesn't taste all that much like real Coke?!?" I mean seriously, why did I ever pick up this canned chimeric clone of the real thing? Remember your first sip of soda? ("pop" or "sodi water", whatever nomenclature you prefer) Good huh? Sugary sweet huh? I remember my first Coke. Mmmmm...

I digress...

So, I am sitting here with a distant-cousin-by-marriage of a drink that is supposed to be the real thing. Frustrated... Disappointed...

As I am sitting here working... Scratch that. As I sit here sulking at my desk God brings something to my mind... Salt...  What?? What does that have to do with my beverage??

Matthew 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."

See, my drink is not really all that good at being Coke. As a matter of fact, Its not really all that good at being a refreshing beverage, period. I began to see the correlation. Do I have the real-flavor of Jesus Christ in my life? Or the Caffeine-Free-Diet-Jesus Christ-Lite version of the real thing?

Is my faith leaving a good and meaningful flavor to those I come in contact with or does the world taste and say "Blaaach?!? This tastes like the faker version of the real thing!!!" Thanks Caffeine-Free-Diet-Coke, for that reminder. And in the realest sense of the phrase... "Keep it real!"

December 20, 2008

US Marketing is Lame

Our marketing has failed, maybe we should look back East. Here are three reasons our commercials stink and Asian commercials rock.




December 19, 2008

Groundhog Day sans Bill Murray

Do you ever feel like the Christian life is a little like Groundhog day? Today I do. Let me explain. There are just times in my life where I feel like I have gained all this ground and "BANG" I am back to square one. This can come in many different forms, whether its leadership, relationships, teaching, personal spiritual growth, serving, etc.

I got to be honest. I get frustrated sometimes, mostly with myself. Then this thought came to mind for me, "What if the lesson God is trying to get me to understand is that no matter how many times I feel frustrated with myself or everything breaks down, He gives me the courage to pick up and keep serving Him?" That would make this worth it. 

Of course this could be all wishful thinking, and therefor moot. But either way I give my trust to God, and therefore it will be... all good.

Friday Five: Favorite Candy Anyone?

5.(Tie) Sour Patch Kids/ Starburst

4. Snickers

3. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

2. Skittles

1. Peanut Brittle (going old school for that one)

December 18, 2008

ready for the curve-ball

I was doing a little reading about new media and the whole technological curve-ball that is being thrown the church's way. I have debated, "Are the web, blogs, facebook/myspace, micro-messaging all that meaningful/important/impactful?" I think so. I was reading an article in Neue quarterly by Aaron Linne that addresses this topic. I'll let you read...

  "If the Church chooses not to look at new media as part of today's society, then we are not engaged with the culture that surrounds it. We must know the culture that surrounds us. It is our (Christ-followers) responsibility to find our place in the New Media world and embrace our opportunities to share in the story together."

What are your thoughts on this subject?? Does it irritate you? Challenge you?? Move you to get a twitter account (lol)? I think it is a worthy discussion to have and to evaluate as more people spend more and more time online. 

December 17, 2008

Random Post: Phat Lights

Here is my one Christmas vice. I love phat lights. I mean I wish that I had an excuse to keep lights like this up all year 'round.To those of you not obsessive-compulsive about Christmas lighting, the lights Im talking about are called C9 bulbs. These are phat...

I don't know why I like these classic bulbs. I remember my grandmother pulling out a ten foot string of these babies and putting them around one window frame. That's it. ONE string of lights around ONE window... BUT they were (you guessed it) phat lights. 

Done... Even if it was three bulbs hanging from a fence post, they would still be phantastic. I don't know why these lights are like alprazolam for me (weird metaphor, but work with me). I see them and I am all chill...

No LED or music-timed glitter bombs could change my mind. I love C9 lights.So gaudy yet so lovely. Anyways that was completely random, but it was called "random post" (read at your own risk)

December 16, 2008

A word of peace

"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give like the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid"---John 14:27

December 15, 2008

The family photos!!!

This week in the student ministry we talked about peace and how Christ has come to give us true peace in this world. One of the things we talked about is how family photos sometimes misrepresent how we really feel as a family at home. Even though we may look peaceful, in reality life is full of strife and "non-peace"

So one of the things we decided to do is take a few "family photos" of our own(and make up a "family" name), and to be ourselves and have fun. As promised here are the family photos!!! In order they are 1. Horton's 2. Schogenbogers 3.Von Weinerschnitzels 4. The Kayhills





December 11, 2008

Destiny Foundation: Clothing Drive-Dec 21st

Hey my people, I wanted to share with you a clip from Destiny Foundation. This is who Grace has partnered with in Central Florida and it is a worthy cause. In the next two weeks Grace student ministries will be collecting clothing for the Compassion Thrift Center to be collected on December 21st at the 10:45 gathering of students!!!

December 10, 2008

untitled

Danger
The cost of living
is dying
Self-denial is just a rouse of the real thing
It is deeper than that.

Confusing 
Reassuring
The journey leads to a land unseen
Sometimes there is
no place to get rest.
For we are far from home.

Who is my mother?
Who is my brother 
and sister?
My family looks 
different every day
but the embrace is...
familiar

Crushed but not destroyed
beaten, but not in vain.
I have a new name.
It is written 
on a white stone.

December 9, 2008

"...and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

Okay so I was listening to Francis Chan today. He had some cool things to say... But these things were also tough. He mentioned reading Acts. So I started reading Acts again.

You know what the first thing that hit me was??? Different... That these guys in the church of Acts were different. I mean they were radical and yet ridiculously compassionate. Here I'll just let you read.

"They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with Awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people..."       ACTS 2:42-47 NIV

WAIT... if I saw this today I would think... Different... Some people might think, "weird?" or "creepy?!?" or "socialist?!" What do you think? Does this scripture have any bearing on how we should live now? Or is it just a weird cultural moment in time where this made sense? What are the ramifications if we were to take this literally? Should I take this literally? I want to hear your take...                that means comment !!!

December 8, 2008

Florida Snow...

We had a snowman "build-off" and I wanted to submit the pictures to the website. Unfortunately the pictures did not come out so well because I took them with my camera phone. 

But I will still put them out because I know the students worked hard on them so even if it looks like a ball of mush on the picture, they all were very good. The students were very creative, these snow sculptures were made from marshmallows, vanilla icing and toothpicks. Make sure to vote for your favorite on the right of the page!!!

1.

2. 
3.

4.


5.

December 7, 2008

HOPE: Take Home For the week

Today, in the student ministries we talked about "hope". Many people during this time are hoping they might get that special something for Christmas. Some people are hoping for something bigger than what's under the tree. What is your hope in this season? 

What happens to hope when it seems like our circumstances are not quite what we wanted them to be? What if God call's you to something that seems to be too great or too hard??? I know that many people say that God will not give you more than you can handle, but think about Mary (Jesus' mom). This is not some story to make us feel warm fuzzies at Christmas time. This is the real deal.

A teenage girl, who is not much different from the teenage girls you might see in your schools, is told by GOD that she is to give birth to the "son of the Most High". What in the world??? 

God did not deliver Jesus down to a billion dollar family, in the right school district, and in the safest neighborhood. Jesus was born to Mary in the worst of circumstances in one of the most dangerous times (Herod is trying to kill all the boys in the area). Next time you go by a barn, see if there are families waiting in line to deliver their baby there. Not one.

The reason we have hope is Christ. He helps us live life to the full in spite of our circumstances, not because of them. God loves you too much to let you be comfortable in this world. If you are a student and are reading this I want you to talk with your parents this week about some of your hopes. And if you are an adult I want you to talk with your kids (or if you don't have kids, talk to someone's kids) about what their hopes are. It's time we got hope back. Christ is calling us to hope this season and I hope we will listen.

December 5, 2008

6 things to keep in mind when struggling with your faith: Part Two

4. Be patient - Time has a way of giving us perspective on many things we wrestle with. In the Christian life you will experience dry times or confusing times. But the beauty of following Christ is that if He began a work in your He will continue to work in you. So be patient, answers may not come overnight.

5. Don't just rely on your feelings - I am the worst at this. Sometimes I can get in a funk and it creates an unneeded struggle. God created us with feelings and they are good, but our subjective experience is not always the best test for whether something is true or not. Feelings are easy to change, just drink 3 venti cafe Americanos and find out! If you are under 18 make sure to ask your parents permission first :)

6. Keep praying - I am trying to avoid sounding like an Mc Hammer song, but you've got to pray just to make it today. You may not "sense" or "feel" God is there, but that doesn't mean your prayer is rendered null. God is still in control and God is there like always. Look at Daniel 10: 2-14, he prayed for three weeks straight... Also look at James 1:5.

I hope that helps you. Just know we are on this walk together. We all struggle, but God will remain faithful. k? peace!

December 4, 2008

5 guilty pleasures...

boy am I going to be in it with this post!! These are things that I always get razzed about from either my friends or my wife. lol!

5. Willie Nelson CD's

4. the McRib 

3. Big Red (easiest thing to bribe me with)

2. Louis L'Amour novels

1. Watching cartoons (reruns of the good stuff, not the new lame ones)

6 things to keep in mind when struggling with your faith: Part One

Do you wrestle with your faith sometimes? It's okay if you do, because I have been there and done that. I still go through tough seasons following Christ. 

Here are a few things I have found are helpful as I wrestle with things of my faith:

1. Don't struggle alone - I have made this mistake way too many times. Talk to others about your difficulties. Dialogue with friends. Sometimes you might feel embarrassed, but you wouldn't believe how many people have thought the same things or been through similar things.

2. Seek wise counsel - Everyone has a person (or persons) in their life that they consider wise. There are definitely people at Grace that you can go to that may have a good word for you. At the very least, they can offer a different perspective or affirm you in your thoughts. If you're not sure who to ask, let me point you toward some peeps.

3. Read the scriptures - Temper all of your questions with the continual reading of the scriptures. Even if the object of your confusion may be the scriptures, keep reading them. The bible is truth and as you ingest it there is a supernatural process that continues the more you are reading it. Many people spend more times reading books about the bible instead of the bible itself, so be careful to not just read only other books.

December 2, 2008

Tis the season...

I was listening to some Christmas music and I came across a peculiar song by Colbie Caillat. It sounded nice enough with the jingle bell style music, but I started to hear the lyrics behind the music. It went a little like this...

"Great, Fake plastic Mistletoe
Wrap me in a great big bow and tear me apart

It's Christmas time, So open up the flood gates
Tell me that you'll be late and rip me apart

Cause you say that, you say that things will be alright
But I've heard that, I've heard that so many times..."

I started to think that is a little how this season is. Many times people try to put on the cheerful spirit, but inside they are wondering if there is any hope or peace or love? They are wondering if there is more to this life?

We have the opportunity this season to say "YES! There is more!" In the next three weeks in the student ministries we are going to be going through a three week series called "Tis the Season"

In this series we are going to be looking at the story of Jesus' birth and talk about how Jesus taught us how to find hope, bring peace and initiate love even when our circumstances are less than ideal. 

We are waiting to have hope, peace and love--in our lives, in our communities, in our world. Even if we’re not sure how it will all work out. And just like thousands of years ago, Jesus is the one who came to bring hope, peace and love to our lives.  So I look forward to seeing you in the next three weeks @ 10:45!

November 28, 2008

5 Things you are thankful for!

This is not really a traditional "top five", but just five things you are thankful for with no order:

-my mom and dad and brother
-my church family and the staff I work with
-my wife Kim (my hero, my friend, my love)
-cool December sunny days
-God allowing me to "discover" things about Him
 

November 25, 2008

Back and decongesting

okay. So I am finally back from Nashville! I so missed you guys (and gals)!!!

I seemed to have kept my cold (it wont go away!!! )But even though i was sick, it was quite an experience to connect with thousands of youth workers from around the nation.It was so cool to see that many people around the nation are trying to help people take their next step toward Christ. 

I know this week is Thanksgiving!!! I want you guys to remember all the great blessings God has rocked us with. Without Him we would have nothing. nada. zip. Because He is our everything! So keep it real, don't eat too much, pray for those less fortunate and I'll see you on Sunday!!! PS there is no 9:00 service, so sleep in!  

November 21, 2008

Five most Unique** Christmas gifts

5. A sweater with a huge white-tailed deer in the center.. HUGE like basically the whole sweater. AND I was in high-school...
4. educational toys (various learning treats)
3. A crocheted American flag
2. A five pound peppermint candy cane
1. Vacuum sealed Buffalo jerky (which actually, was very good)

** "unique" used in a very loose and non-judgmental way

David Crowber Band


Tonight's session was the bomb!! David Crowder Band Rocked the house and Francis Chan punched me in the face!


at the airport...

Yes, I am that person. I always get to the airport WAY too early. Then I just sit here.
Sit... Read... Check my watch... Sit.. Write... Snore.. 

Now I am reading my book and stealing the wireless internet from those around me. (Jussst kidding, Im on the airport's internet) Anyways, I am now on antibiotics so I hope that my cough and cold goes away. I feel all woozy because of the cough medicine, but I think Im going to add coffee to the mix to make things fun!!!

I hope you have a good morning. I will be thinking about you and praying for you this next couple of days. Yes you! I have a spy that tells me who is reading and then I pray for you!!! J/J Seriously, have a good day and we'll chat soon!


Leaving on a Jet Plane

Woo hoo! I am so stoked to be up at the crack of dawn getting ready to fly out of Orlando to a COLD Nashville, TN. That is why we live in Florida. Brrrrrr. So I am flying out at 9:15 and getting to Nashville @ 10:15 or something like that. It's a surprisingly short flight, but 8 million times better than driving. 

Anyways, I will have to sit around for a little bit before I can make it to the First general session. I may have to take my luggage into it :) But I don't want to miss it because Francis Chan is the 1st speaker. How cool is that???

Anyways, I'll holler at you later. Have a good morning!!!

November 19, 2008

It's aliiiiive!!

Boy, I have been mad sick this week. I can't seem to shake this wicked cough and the inside of my head feels like it is filled with this stuff. I know right before lunch too! Gross. Anyways, I am heading to the National Youth Workers Convention this week in Nashville and it is going to be really sweet!

I will blog to you guys form Nashville to let  you know how it is going and update you from time to time. This convention has student pastors coming from all over the nation to get together to worship, encourage one another, and spend time talking together about ministry and how to better serve the communities we are in back home. 

There are going to be a bunch of cool teachers and I'm sure I will get a whole lot out of it. I need you guys (and gals) to be praying for me as Im up there as I'm spending some of that time as a personal retreat too and getting amped up for this spring and next year!  I hope you guys are enjoying the cold weather. I will be in the covers and taking my Nyquil for now. Peace!

November 17, 2008

Michael Anderson

Yesterday in the student ministries we had a guest speaker. He talked about how students can be hope (the hope of Christ) to the friends and family around them.

He challenged us to live a life on mission for God. He too, has a passion for loving others unconditionally and unashamedly so that they might see Christ in this world.

 I just wanted to share his link on my blog if you wanted to see what he is up to from time to time. He will be our camp speaker for next year's summer retreat "Adrenaline 09". So, be on the lookout for that!!

www.cultureoflove.blogspot.com


November 14, 2008

Friday Five: Orlando Dives

5. House Blend Cafe (Best red beans and rice in Orlando... no really...)
4. Shakers (Sandwiches/ Breakfast is the bomb too)
3. Johnny's Filling Station (Burgers)
2. Hot Dog Heaven


What are some of your favorites???

November 13, 2008

Throwback Thursday!!!

Do you remember this?? Holler back if you remember hearing or seeing this when it was released in 1992. I was in the 9th grade. hmmm. memories...

beautiful words...

Sometimes I like to read hymns. Some are filled with such beauty and passion. One example is "Lo! How a Rose E'er Blooming"
ch-ch-check it:

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!

November 12, 2008

Student Spolight!!!


This week's student spotlight is on Katie!!! She is a ninth grader at WPHS and is part of the cheerleading squad!!! You rock!!

November 11, 2008

jealous is not even the word...


Coldplay upclose from Chad Wyatt on Vimeo.

I'm a loser

As I was meditating in my quiet time, I came to the realization that somehow I had slowly put the things of God slightly behind the things of Norm. Now they may be more like "side-by-side", but as God asked me to search my heart, I realized side by side is not Lordship.

I was reading this scripture, "Whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it ". It is found in Matthew 10:38. This scripture is nestled into a greater context of how we should follow Christ. The word "lose" in the greek is much stronger than just "losing" your car keys. It means to utterly destroy, to put to death, to be completely ruined. So in light of this scripture I want to be a loser.

In my personal opinion, I think that the world is tired of Christians living the same old, tired life. There is no hope in that. I mean if we don't want to be "all-in" then why follow Christ at all. I am not saying I have it right, but God does. Maybe we need to make sure that we put to death the old things and live in the new. Please, be a loser too. Lose yourself in Christ today.

November 10, 2008

twit pic doesnt work for me so...

As you see here this is a random parade crashing our dinner this past Saturday night. You can see my buddy Mike is not sure what to make of the impromtu Carnivale parade.



Jesus is important to me

Yesterday in IMPACT, I had the students share why Jesus was important to them. They took a little bit of time to write it down on paper and here are just some of their words...

"Jesus is important to me because without him I wouldn't be forgiven and free."

"He is important to me because without him I'd be nothing. And He is important because he took my sin. Also He listens to me and loves me!"

"jesus is someone who is always there for me and he guides me in the right direction for life."

"Jesus is important to me because he is my Lord and Savior. I trust in Jesus and prayed for Him to come and forgive me of my sins. Jesus knows I am not perfect. Jesus guides and protects me when I need Him and He is always there for me."

It was really cool for me to get to read the things that students had to say. We have a great group of kids that really have a heart for Christ and I just wanted to let all the readers out there in blog-space to know how proud I am of your students...
Peace!!!

November 2, 2008

Sunday sickies

I am trying to fight away this chest cold today. I hate all this coughing. Even Pancho seems to be steering clear of me. Usually I can take some Nyquil and get under the covers and sweat it out, but this chest cold is being a booger and not letting me get rid of it. Please pray for me to get over it, so I can get back to better. Thanks so much!!!

October 31, 2008

Do Christmas different this year... http://www.adventconspiracy.org/

Pancho is jealous

okay, i usually never plug blogs on my page, but Pancho has been bugging me for like the last two weeks to start his OWN blog. So, since today is my day off, I let him. But it's not going to be as cool as mine because he is not as witty as I am. I also put a link down at the bottom right of my blog... where the other links are...

Five favorite directors (albeit questionable)

1. Darren Aronofsky
2. Wes Anderson
3. Joel Coen (Coen Brothers)
4. Stanley Kubrick 
5. Zhang Yimou (Hero/House of Flying daggers... oh yeah, he also directed the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympic games)

October 30, 2008

A picture of someone else's Bronco (see previous day's blog)


My friends Bronco looked a little like this. Except in the dark, and down a lonely dirt road and like 150 times awesomer and with no fire truck.

Dag Yo!

I really have been stoked about the weather. I think there is something about a little chill that helps us to remember there is a thing called fall and winter in other parts of the world. Where I grew up we would usually get our first freeze between late October and Middle November. 

When I was in high school, we would usually go out in the woods somewhere are make a huge camp fire. One of those nights our friends car actually caught on fire and burned up. It's true. He had an ooooold Ford Bronco(like 79 or something like that). Anyways, this vehicle had a heater that was underneath the seats. I know its weird, but just try to imagine. 

So this night was one of the first cold snaps of that year. This was the first time in a while my buddy had used his heater. What he didnt know is somehow a bunch of leaves and stuff was trapped all around the heater. (Probably from the summer when he would take the hard top off and ride around, you know how it is in the country).

ANYWAYS, we parked his car and went on a hike and as we were coming back we noticed there was a bright light shining from where we had parked ol boys car. We thought maybe someone had pulled next to his car and had their headlights on. But the closer we got someone yelled, "dude, your CAR is on FIRE!!!" 

Now the fact that this guy was my friend was the reason that I had so much restraint for the first three seconds, but then I just had to say it. "Oh my gosh, that is SO awesome!!!" I mean flames were leaping like 5 feet high from this thing and we were so far out in the country there was no water hoses or anything like that to try and put it out. This guy just had to watch in horror as his dope ride incinerated. We just had to walk back to the campsite and let the car burn. (No cell phones back then)

Luckily one of our friends came to the exact same spot the next day and found us and the blackened car. So the moral of the story is... make sure you have a camera with you at all times, just in case your friends car catches on fire. 

October 27, 2008

Mercy before sacrifice....

What in the world am I doing inside today??? It is one of the nicest days yet this year. All cool and breezy and stuff! Anyways if you are crazy like me and are inside today, I'd like to share a little of what is on my heart with you.

I have been thinking about the "Generous Life" campaign that Grace is doing and also this week in our student ministries we have been talking about "Tithing". As I was looking through the lessons and thinking about all this, it is really easy to think that these lessons are only about external actions. I mean is tithing really only about giving my money? Is the Generous life only about giving more money?

Obviously the answer is no, because it is much more than that. In the lesson about tithing to the students a question was posed. The question was "Why does God need our money?? He has everything and He makes everything. But it really boils down to our hearts. Do I TRUST God more than anything. Do I really want to be wholly his??

There is a scripture found in Matthew 9:13 It really speaks to this issue. What is God's heart? What is my heart toward God? The giving is just a side product of "the generous life" we choose to live. 

October 24, 2008

Five Favorite Pies

1. Pecan
2. Key Lime 
3. Pumpkin
4. Peach
5. Cherry

Do you have a favorite?

October 22, 2008

Girls Nite Out!!




Here are some of the pics from Girls night out! Can you tell who's feet are who's?? You know the guys really missed out from this event 'eh!!!


Trip Update

Hey my faithful following. I just wanted to give you an update on how our trip went. It was the bizzy that is for sure. We didn't do a whole lot, but we definitely got some rest and relaxation. It was nice to wake up and sit out on the porch (it was actually in the sixties during the morning) and then chill out for the rest of the day. Kim and I got to read a few books (soooo nice) and also catch up on much needed sunday naps. 

I think the greatest thing was getting to hang out with Kim all day for a few days. I really enjoyed getting to be around her and listening to her laugh. I remembered how happy she makes me. I really am one of the luckiest people ever. ("not lucky.. Blessed "as Kim would say) My in-laws are really cool too, and they were fun to be around. 

It is really neat to spend time, not worrying about time. I found the first few days that I was there I was really anxious, because I wasn't busy doing stuff. But then I settled into the rural routine and became naturally relaxed. Ahhhh. That was a fun vacation for us and for our puppy Pancho!! But we sure are glad to be BACK!!! See you guys Sunday!

October 17, 2008

My Five Favorite Leisure websites

1. ESPN.go.com
2. Addictinggames.com
3. Youthspecialties.com
4. Facebook.com
5. dailytimes.com = my hometown newspaper website

what are some cool ones you have? Comment NOW! :)

October 15, 2008

Random Thought

 How does the guy who drives a snow plow for a living get to work?

out to lunch for a week!----

Hey my faithful blog readers! I am going to be out of town for a week on vacation. We are going to Louisiana (Yeeeeeehaw!). I will be out this Sunday (19th) and I will miss you guys so very much! But we will be back on Sunday the 26th!!! I will try and keep you posted on how things are in Cajun land. 

In the mean time please keep up with your H.A.B.I.T.S and Ill see you on the flip-side!!!
(so far: Hang Time with God, Accountability, Bible Memorization)

October 10, 2008

Five places I'd like to visit

1. Italy
2. Australia
3. Scotland
4. Fiji
5. China

Where would you like to visit??? Comment NOW!! lol

October 9, 2008

Student Spotlight!

This student spotlight is on Seth! He is a high school freshman at Seminole and he is on the drum line! You'll see him around the three thirty minute mark in detail as he kicks it on the cymbals. (is that the correct term?) 

If you would like to submit a video for student spotlight shoot me an email at Norm@gogracefellowship.com (with the video of course) and I will screen it for any questionable material (lol) and maybe you can make it on the "student spotlight"

October 8, 2008

Random Thought

Why do they call it "rush hour" when everyone is moving so slow?

October 6, 2008

The truth about accountability

Since I have been a believer I have heard that one good thing for a Christ-follower to have is accountability. But, what does that even mean? In college we really "tried" to have accountability relationships, but sometimes it got waaaay too legalistic or way too insignificant (we would just say "oh we messed up...AGAIN). Personally I have had a hard time being in an "accountable" relationship, because I have always done it "just because it's the right thing to do". 

The last two weeks we have been studying H.A.B.I.T.S. in the student ministry. The funny thing is how God uses the very thing you are studying to convict you. I realized that if I am to talk about this on any level with students then I really need to be intentional about having true accountability in my life. I am being transparent here, so please understand I am walking this journey just like you. 

What we learned in IMPACT this week is that Accountability adds INSIGHT, TRUTH, HOPE and FAITH to your life. These are there very things that I had been missing from time to time in my walk with God. Go Figure?? Are you missing these things in your life? Do you meet regularly with someone who will hold you accountable? I know I have benefited from it. I that my lesson learned can help you take your next step toward Christ. Thank you for reading...

October 3, 2008

Macho Libre----Paintball!!!

Hey my peoples!

Just wanted to give you a report on our paintball outing. We had a most macho and most libre time. (For those of you that dont know spanish libre=liberating/free and macho=macho)

We got shot at and shot others and fellowshipped with welts and all. I know some were thinking "they said it wasn't going to hurt". OK, I lied... a little. But we all came back alive and can talk about it on this side. Thanks to all who volunteered to help and those who came. Thanks to all the moms that weren't too terribly mad at me for the abuse their sons suffered!!!

Five things I wanted to be when I grew up


I saw kepiad's blog and wanted to do this myself

1. movie director
2. chemist (until I took chemistry)
3. writer (poetry)
4. football coach
5. professor

October 2, 2008

Thanks for taking the RED pill

For those of you brave enough to check out the site I say THANK YOU!!! Look around, there are all kinds of stuff the right and to the bottom. If you feel so moved, make sure and subscribe to this blog so you can get the updates!! Until next time, PEACE!

September 30, 2008

IMPACT!

If you are in middle school and you haven't been to Impact (Sundays @ 10:45-rm 205) then you need to get off your duff and come check it out!!! Here are a few pics from last week!




September 29, 2008

HABITS?

so, today is Monday... The day after...

Are you ready to put into practice what we talked about? Today is the first day of your spiritual "hang-time" with God. I know all of you are on different levels, but no matter if you are just starting or are looking to improve on your spiritual life, today is the first day on the road to changing your life!!!

Let's go through those things one more time, so you can get on track right!
1. Make time with God a PRIORITY
2. Take the time REGULARLY
3. Hang out time with comfort not GUILT

Remember our relationship with God is meant to GROW! You are setting the building blocks for tomorrow by what you choose to do today! You guys rock and I am stoked about the next spiritual habit to change your life! (but you have to wait until Sunday for the next one, in the mean time learn to cook mac and cheese!)

September 26, 2008

this series will change your life...

Do you have a spiritual hero in your life? I bet if you asked them they would tell you that being a solid Christ-follower doesn't happen over night. In fact they will probably tell you that they are actively seeking after the things of God everyday!

In the next six weeks (in IMPACT and AXIS) we will be going thru a new series called "Developing Habits that will change your life". This series is based on six principles that will help take you to the next level in your walk with God.

I guarantee if you what you learn in the next six weeks and apply to your life doesn't help you grow, I will give you a full refund and refund your shipping charges as well, no questions asked!!!

Money doesn't grow on trees... does it?

September 25, 2008

Macho Libre --RSVP

Yo! you have a little over a day left to sign up for Macho Libre. No late rsvps. I mean fo' real doh... You best get your stuff in on time to attend the event! Nothing but love to you out there!

September 24, 2008

T-Minus 48 hours.....

Hey guys. It is T-minus 48hours to RSVP for Macho Libre... If you are coming I NEED the RSVP with waiver and moola by FRIDAY!!!!  NO LATE RSVP-----

word?

picks from Rock the Universe!

Here are a couple of pics from Rock the Universe!!! We had a really great time. Thanks to all who helped out!!!




back in white!

yo. i got my computadora back! so now i can catch up on all the blogs you've been dying to read! all three of you!!!

September 18, 2008

The system is down

Hey my friends out in computadora land. Just wanted to give you a quick shout and let you know I am short a computer for a few days. So, just incase you may not get an email reply quickly or whatever. I am sans computer for five days while it gets serviced. So just letting you know!!!! If you need to RSVP for anything just give me a buzz on the Phone! 

September 16, 2008

September 15, 2008

September 12, 2008

growing pains

Hebrews 12: 7-8, 11

"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline) then you are illegitimate children and not true sons." "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

It is not easy being a follower of Christ. It is not easy being a leader in Christ's body, but God has called us to do our part. If God chooses to refine us then we must be willing to take the flame. This is what we have signed up for. But I am encouraged, especially through the whole 12th chapter of Hebrews. Because God is a consuming fire and it helps me to remember my place in the Kingdom. And our place as sons and daughters.

Blank document

Many mornings I try to find the right words
to pray
And I think about the eloquence of my father
And the sincere words of my mother
I think of the curse words of the sinner
just saved

I think of the last words of a soldier
The first words of a mother
Seeing her newborn child
Words seem so easy to say

But, I am struggling with words
Like hand me down clothes that just
don’t seem to fit
I don’t know what to pray to You
My mind just wants to quit

Selah

Spirit moves, Spirit breathes
Dust begins to feel natural on my knees
Because it is where I was meant
To Be
Words do not come from my lips or my mind
But my heart sings easily

It sings and tells You
The things that are true
My heart it prays for love of
others and love to You

I pray with words of Spirit.


-Romans 8:26

September 10, 2008

MACHO libre Oct 4, 2008

Just a quick blog to let you know about the upcoming Macho Libre event. This is for all guys ages 6th through 12th grades. We are going to have a good time, but you might need to eat some eagle eggs for you to have the strength to handle this event.


October 4th 12-6PM---RSVP by Sept 26th
$ 33.95  plus $5.99 per 100 paintballs (if you want xtra)

September 8, 2008

C-bizzle and the land of Canaan

Did you guys just LOVE the fall kickoff?!?! We had such a blast and it was great to be able to see so many new faces at Grace. What is so amazing about fall kickoff is that it is not a one time shindig. This is just how we roll from here on out.

I love the people at Grace, because God has given us a vision and you guys just keep pushing forward and running the good race. I mean to reach Orlando we need God-sized dreams and God sized faith! The scriptures speak to this fact over and over again.

 One of my favorite scriptures is about C-bizzle (Caleb) and his crazy faith.(in Numbers 13:30) Moses sends out a scouting party to check out Canaan. The spies come back and give a report that the land is off the heezy (good) but the people in the land were mad thuggish (big and ready to scrap). 

All of the sudden Caleb told everyone to be silent. I can just imagine this young guy commanding everyone to quiet down. Shooshie!!! Anyways, everyone leans in and Caleb says "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can CERTAINLY do it." 

WHAT!!?? C-bizzle is out of his mind?! But wait, maybe he is thinking via God's economy. It seems way too hard for us to do, but God has much more game then we do. Hmmm, can we do it? God can.

If we desire Orlando to be impacted for God we need to dream big dreams and give all of our lives, everyone! Three services seems like a lot because it is a lot, but isn't God able to do it? Will you be moved to service? 

I ask myself the same question. Do I believe God is able to do it? Will I let go and start trusting God? Big questions... Bigger God.

September 6, 2008

Rocked the U on the reals

Just getting up from rockin the Universe last night. I just wanna give  big THANKS to my adult chaperones for kickin it with us and hopefully you had a pretty good time too!!! I think Switchfoot stole the show, but overall I think good times were had by all. High fives for Jesus anyone??? NOT!!!

September 4, 2008

Thursday Crack-up

Seeing that some people have been stressed out this week, here is a little clip to make you chuckle. I don't know why she is laughing, but it must be pretty darn funny!


2 Corinthians 12:9

9---But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.----

September 2, 2008

Fall Kickoff!!!

That's right! This September 7th we are having our fall kickoff! Middle schoolers need to come up starting @ 10:45! Yes, that's right! Students you come up for the ENTIRE time!!! Woohoo!!! 

Parents: Por Favor diga a su adolescente subir el tiempo a IMPACTO!!! Woohoo

video

Parents: Just a reminder that your student needs to come straight to IMPACT sunday!!! Woohoo

August 28, 2008

what's the hype on skype

Hey. Do any of you out there use skype? I have been trying to figure it out today. It is kinda cool because I can use my icamera to use it. plus it is free!! Anyways check it out...
www.skype.com Its free to get an account and as far as I can tell it is free to video call. 

Anyways until my next post!

August 27, 2008

Texas is winning the poll!

I wanted to let you know I haven't been voting for myself, the real UT has been winning this poll for the last few days!!! 

In other news... I had a really cool day today. I was really busy and felt like I wasn't getting that many checks in the "done" column. But I had a few interactions today that really lifted my spirits. I mean I don't know if you know, but God is doing some really cool things in the lives of people at Grace.

We have folks plugging in to serve and people recommitting their lives to follow Jesus. We have students taking their next steps, helping their friends and living for God in their schools. I really think people are getting it!

We need to continually push forward for God's sake and for the sake of people who are out there right now that don't know Christ. The 3rd service is a great way to do this and we want people to be apart of this movement of God.

 If you can help out in any way please let us know. There are plenty of opportunities in  GraceKids, greeting team, breakdown team and others that will need help for the 12:30 service. Nothing to it but to do it! Peace!

August 25, 2008

New Poll!!!

The winner for best beach was New Smyrna, by a landslide victory!

The next poll is for all you football fans out there. Who is your favorite college football team? And yes, I will put Texas, because it's like that (plus I write the blog). Anyways, vote for your team yo!

3 AM ramble

I am up early because my stomach hurts. Why is it when you are up ridiculously early that your eyes hurt really bad? It feels like I have three sheets of shrink wrap over each eyeball. My head hurts and Im nauseated... I'm not sure what the blogger time says, but it is 2:30 AM. 

ANYWAYS... I just wanted to take a few minutes to tell everyone out in cyberspace how thankful I am that you read the blog and are along with me on this journey. I love that you laugh at my jokes (and my hair) I love that you guys comment once and a while. (So rinse and repeat okay??) I love that people can get some idea of the student ministries happenings. But also, I just get comfort that people like that you are there on the other side of the screen reading the ramblings of a man trying to give God his due glory. So to that I say THANK you!

If you are up at three with me. Thanks. If not thanks for reading this in the future!!! Now I will try and drink some warm milk or something. Later...


August 24, 2008

sunday blogger

Good Afternoon my daimies!

Thanks so much for the great turnout today in Impact!! I am so glad that you bring your friends. Im like a proud father duck. QUACK! Sorry Im not sure what that was about.

Anyways, starting Sept 7th there will be some new changes to the sunday morning experience for middle school IMPACT, so get ready to get funkdified!!! I think It will give us an opportunity to reach more students and have fun along the way.

So I hope you are ready for the kickoff!!! Not only is it going to be cool in the student ministries, there will be all kinds of cool stuff happening on that sunday too, so you WONT wanna miss it!!!


August 22, 2008

tonight is your night bro' (or bro-ina)

You guys neeeeeeed to come check out the vision night @ 7:00! It is going to be sick (parental reminder, sick=good). We are going to do some things that will trip you out, man. Not to mention you get to rock out with the Grace Worship team on a Friday Night!!! How about that?? 

I will see you there!!!


August 16, 2008

B2sB

Tonight is going to be... pretty wicked cool. Let me just give you a few of the elements...

1. crazy-oh-limpics
2. sick prizes (i-pod give-a-way)
3. yummy food
4. your friends
5. hand gliding

...ok maybe not number 5 (this year)

If you haven't RVSPed there is still room so email me TODAY. Lines are open until 4PM :) Tonight 6-9 and bring a towel and a change of clothes/swimsuit.

See YOU there!

August 15, 2008

Don't get loud

I know this is like the eight-millionth reminder but I wanted to let you know that starting this Sunday rising 6th is going to come up with all of IMPACT to room 205. If you are in room 105 you will have to clean up diaper poo for the next three weeks. so DONT go there :).    

August 12, 2008

Tuesday Snoozeday

I am getting really excited about the Fall Kickoff Sept. 7th!!! IMPACT is going to have a whole new look! But firstly there is the B2SB @ the Parker's rez from 6-9 this Saturday. We are going to have a few competitions in which the winners will win some pretty swanky stuff. You'll just have to come to find out! 

In honor of back to school I have the following clip. Im not sure what it has to do with back to school, but maybe you can learn how to pull this off at your lunch table... or not.
<


August 11, 2008

PS. Vote for your beach b4 it is over!

Its not hard, just vote down at the right hand corner of your screen. Why? You ask? Well if next summer we do a beach fling, this is the one Im pickin' thats why. DOY!?!

The future is now

I am so pumped up about Grace. I mean the future is now! We have a crunk new website. We have promotion this upcoming weekend. We have a leadership night coming up on the 22nd (which will be sweet). We are adding a third service to reach more people for Christ. 

It is going to be a wild fall! And I am not talking about football season. (it takes quite a bit for me to get hype about something over football season). You guys won't wanna miss a weekend! I also wanted to remind parents and students that AXIS will be moving up to 5:15 on Sundays. It is still at the GRACE offices on Vassar. But it will be from 5:15 to 6:30!!! 

Peace out...

August 10, 2008

have it your way

So, today I am rolling home after a great Sunday service. I'm driving along and I notice one church letting out, cars coming out of the parking lot, the whole nine. So for some reason I decide I am going to count the churches on my way to my destination.

 It's funny at first because I am like, wow three churches in a row??

I keep counting... five churches....six churches... seven churches... After one mile I have counted eleven churches. Eleven churches within one mile of each other, on the SAME road.

I started thinking about what Mike was teaching this morning. You remember the 99 righteous and the 1 sinner?? I don't pretend to know these churches I drove past today or what is going on in them. But my heart wondered what Jesus would feel like walking down this street. Does this street represent God's people outwardly or inwardly?

I mean are there eleven churches in one mile of each other, because of the revival going on in Orlando, or because the insiders want things their way so bad that they are willing to splinter the body of Christ to the point of uselessness?

I had to check myself. Do I want things in my spiritual life on my timetable? Does Grace Fellowship have to make me happy or else I will pout and grumble? Is my heart truly about the mission? Or do I want Grace Fellowship to fit around my schedule and my likes or dislikes? It's time for us to get real about the mission here in Orlando ya' heard???

August 6, 2008

Metamorphosis 5: The last straw

Hey guys and gals. If you went on the Metamorphosis retreat and are wondering, "what da heck? I wanna see pictures and stuff" please be advised I am actually working on getting some media for the retreat up. So gimmie a little just a little more time. Trust me you will be pleased young padawans!

PS: Go to the B2SB on August 16th from 6:00-9:00. Ya heard???

August 4, 2008

Axis

I gotta give props to my high schoolers too!!! Love this video! Make sure to select "watch in high quality" on the bottom right.

Peace!




Is your life sticky?

I was reading a blog an article a while back that talked about making your blog or website "sticky". I know that may be weird terminology to some of you. Simply put, being sticky means that people will be attracted to your blog (or website) and come back for more. 

I really thought the article was insightful, but as I read the article I started to think,  As a leader in Christ is my life sticky? Are people drawn closer to Him through my walk? This challenges me, especially since Mike spoke about Hebrews 13:7 in our last worship gathering. I hope and pray that it is. 

Pray that we all in Grace Fellowship are "sticky" to the community around us, whether that is in your neighborhood, school, work, or wherever you are. Peace!

August 3, 2008

best beach poll

Check out the "best beach poll" over to the right and pick one! Voting ends August 11th!

PBJWABB----huh? 'Dere he go!

Hey peeps. So another great Sunday is in the books. I just have to give a quick shout out to my middle school peeps for being the snazziest students in Central Florida. You guys got being cool on lock. 

Our series on Thursday night is "Get Psyched". We are walking through the book of Acts and checking out some of the most psyched individuals in the early church. This next Thiiiirsday we are talking about Stephen. Also just wanted to let you know these are the last two weeks of IMPACT Summer. (Thursday Nights)

Yes, it has been a fun summer run, but we do look forward to the next IMPACT Summer (imagine a little reverb there...Summer. Summer. Summer....or not) We are going to go bonkers the next two Thursdays nights!  So I hope to see you there. 7:00-8:30 @ the Grace Offices!

August 2, 2008

Back 2 School Bash

video

walk the dog

Pancho and i went for a walk this morning. He was so excited, because it's been a while since I have had time to take him for a long walk. He had Dr's orders to not walk for long distances for two weeks since his knee-cap was popping out of place an getting swollen. But now he's all good, so a walking we will go!

August 1, 2008

lovely day

I am so stoked that I get the chance to be a part of Grace Fellowship. I mean not only do we have great people, we have people who are willing to step up to the challenge of being more than status-quo Christians. I think it is about time we get psyched together and really move the community of Orlando. Can't wait to do it together!

July 31, 2008

Metamorphosis Part 4: Live the life

For those of you that have been following. I give you mad props because this has been quite a drawn out little series hasn't it? I write today from an excited heart and pumped for next summer's retreat! What? Next summer??! Oh Yeah!

Anyways, The last full day of the retreat was sensational. The students played "manhunt" the night before and pretty tired. We all know when teenagers get tired they have a hard time paying any kind of attention. But, Mike Anderson, our camp speaker brought an intense message of identity and how we choose to live against our God given identity many times.

Mike explained that when he was six years old he had a argument with his mom that caused him to "run away". In reality he just hid under his clubhouse about 200 yards away from the house. He said he endured about three hours before it became dark and, once the bugs started crawling on him, he decided to get out and go back home.

His point for the story was in our desire for "freedom" we do the exact opposite of what we want. We create a prison. Interesting concept 'eh? I think the students really got the messages of Metamorphosis. But the bottom line of Metamorphosis was not just about the one time death/life change in Christ. But about living in the identity that God has placed upon us as sons and daughters.

So my question to them and you is this. So how should we then live? 

July 30, 2008

Metamorphosis Part 3: The Oak Tree

So if you have been following the last few blogs, you know I have been writing about our great trip to the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. 

Saturday we poured the students into the cars and headed up the gravel road to Bear Creek Trail. One great thing about being in North Georgia is there are beaucoup (for my Nola folks) trails. I mean one could literally hike for weeks. But the good 'ol bear creek trail was one we could traverse in a little under 2.5 hours. 

About halfway down the trail we ran into a big oak tree. I mean this guy was big. I think the students tried to stretch around it and it took quite a few of them to link arms and get around it. I took a picture of it, but my wife has the camera so maybe I will download some later.

If you ever get a chance to hike the trails in N. Georgia you should do it. It was a great deal of fun to hike that trail, but it reminded me of one thing... Man am I out of shape!

Metamorphosis Part 2: A Creek Runs Through it

Good Morning Peeps-

So this morning I realized how far away from the serene forest I was. The city beautiful woke me up with a symphonic melody of car alarms, ambulance sirens and noisy motorcycles. Breathe in... Breathe ou...*cough *cough... out. Yeah.

So in day two of our Metamorphosis adventure we finally settled into our backwood surroundings. There was the beautiful little creek that lazily pushed its way past our campsite. The creek was cool, clear and relaxing. Many of the students walked up and down it finding rocks, smoothed over by time, and skipping them or saving them to take home.

In the morning I had the students get off by themselves to try and spend some quiet time alone with God and nature and their scriptures. As I did this on my own, I began to think of how precious our time with God is. Yes I know that we can speak with Him anytime, since he is omnipresent and omniscient. But how often do I exclude everything around me to really hang with God? 

When my wife and I first met we would spend hours just sitting and staring at eachother and smiling. I remember my face would ache from cheezing so big with her around. We could just sit and stare and sit and laugh. I still love to look at her, but I have to admit I get busy sometimes dupe myself into thinking every minute I have needs to be "purposeful". For some stupid reason I think merely staring into my wife's eyes on end doesn't provide a big enough return... But to her it means the world.

When is the last time my face hurt from smiling at my savior so much and enjoying His company? Do you think He has been waiting for you to stop being "purposeful" and busy and simply look into his eyes? As a parent don't you just LOVE when your child stops, jumps up in your lap and gives you a bear hug? Your kids aren't thinking, "I have a purpose to build a relationship with my father, therefore I must show him an outward display of affection to elicit a favorable response and further my inheritance" (unless your child is an android). They just LOVE you...

After the quiet time was over I heard some of the girls splashing around in the creek. I zoned back into reality and got ready for the task at hand. We were going to go on a hike that afternoon...

July 29, 2008

Metamorphosis Part 1: Killer Bees

Hey Oh Everyone!

We had a killer time at our summer retreat this past weekend. There are like a bazillion things that happened so I will break up the time into a few blogs. First up to bat is the wicked awesome first day. 

Getting up at 5:00 AM is awesome in itself, but then packing five cars worth of luggage into four and getting ready t drive 9-10 hours made it glorious! I really thought that we were going to have more room than we did, but we fit everything in the vehicles. One thing that didn't fit was my guitar. :( but that ended up being a really cool thing, that I'll talk about later. 

The drive up was pretty uneventful, besides the "watermelon crash" on I-75 that stopped up traffic for half an hour or so. (short story: truck full of watermelons+ speed+wobble=1000 gallon watermelon mush smoothie on I-75.) But once we passed ATL the scenery became more and more beautiful. We rolled into town near 5 and found the cabin and began the fun!

The first night there we found out that our campsite had 3 lb killer bees! Well at least by the time the story gets around Im sure they will be that big. But in reality our campsite had quite a few "bee" looking things hovering all over the ground. (I scoured the internet for a few hours to find what it was, but rest assured they weren't yellow jackets). So a few students were stung and thus we found our nemesis for the duration of the summer retreat.

Besides a few nature woes our city slicker students fared pretty well. I was actually a little proud of them by the end of the trip. Most of the students stayed in the tents, but some chose to brave the air-conditioned cabin. But, all in all, I think we all had two fistfuls of fun. 

I think the first night the students weren't sure what to expect, but since I forgot the guitar we actually started the first session with a few minutes of silence. I told students to close their eyes and just sit. I did not realize how cool this was going to be. There were no snickers or fart noises. The students really spent time in silence. I know it has been quite a long time that I have just sat in silence. Silence is a really heavy discipline that I have barely grasped...

Woah!? This has turned into quite a long blog, so I will cut it short, but I have a few more coming up and Ill let you know a little more about the trip. until then ttyl!!



July 24, 2008

Preparation and Perspiration

Well it is about t minus 14:28 before we head to the mountains of GA. I think we have most of our ducks in a row!!! We had our leader's meeting today and it seems like we've got quite a troop. I tell you what if it weren't for them I might be freakin' out by now. 

It is so funny because details are not natural to me. I am a big picture person, so it takes a little extra som' som' for me to pull off details. But ever since reading Steven Furtick's blog on weakness I am confident. Even though he says to give it to someone else... which I will do next time. Live and learn, yes?

But in all actuality I am jacked up about this weekend. It is going to be a good time and I know that students' lives are going to be changed. Thanks to Grace for giving me the opportunity to invest in your students. I consider it an honor, privilege, and great responsibility!!! Hopefully I can blog from the mountain top. If not I will give a full report when I get back. 

Much love.

July 23, 2008

bring it on.

College football in around a month... Glorious.

family

I just had my brother and mom here for a week. We had a pretty good time, but I wish they could have stayed a few more days. Our dog Pancho really misses them, because they were here all day and he could play with somebody while we were at work.

I was really glad to have hung out with them though. I think it is weird that we are all getting older and that my "little" brother is 26 now. I thought he just graduated high school last year..what tha??? Oh well, tis life 'eh?

Anyways I am getting excited because I have Metamorphosis coming up. I am getting all the last minute arrangements settled and trying to remember to keep everything in perspective. I am praying that this weekend will be a really cool time for the students and leaders that are going.

Will you pray for the leaders and the students on this trip? We will be gone July 25-July 28 and will be in north Georgia. This is our first out-of-state trip, so pray it goes smoothly and all that jazz. I will try my hardest to keep you updated via Twitter and blogger. (Hopefully I will get service up there in the woods :)) Anyways until then peace!!!

July 22, 2008

Metamorphosis

Strictly for my Ninjas! I am so excited about the summer retreat we are about to have, I just had to blog about it. We are going to be taking 16 peeps down the rapids of the Ocoee river. You will have to check out the blog in the next few days for the updates on our trip. 
Cool? 

July 21, 2008

lament

My bones bend
Under the weight of my own making
from the self-induced pressure
The crushing, bruising and breaking
Shortness of breath
my eyes growing 
blurry... blurred... tears...
tears form running away from the pain that is inside my mind
darkness...

Selah

Dazed, a hope, a friend awakes me from my slumber
A friend to dust off my limbs and 
put salve on my wounds
It is You
Oh wounded Healer!
You... crushed and bruised 
know me.
You... crushed and broken
love me.
I gaze into your beauty, the eyes filled with blazing, searing, devastating love.
Love.
Devastated I come.

You mend my bones...
my sinews...
my flesh...
my soul...

You restore me Oh God, you place me up where I never imagined to 
tread. 
Is there anyone like our God? Is there one who knows the every need of His people? God is my fortress. From within I have been renewed. Amen


July 15, 2008

one the thirteenth day of no blogging....

I apologize for the blogging drought. I was away at camp KidJam for a few days and I got all out of sorts. But it was a good type of "out of sorts", similar to the "out of sorts" you might be in during bowl game season with four t.v.'s and the computer on or better yet, when you are standing in a Bar B Q buffet line (should I go for the ribs again or maybe the brisket) *i love food analogies*

There have just been so many good things happening at Grace and not just with the student ministry, but in every aspect of our fellowship. It has just been a whirlwind of people's lives being transformed and others taking their next step (or first step) toward Christ. I could write about seventeen pages of great things that have happened in the last twelve days, but for the sake of brevity I digress.

This morning I was reading and it just hit me how much of the Christian story is not supposed to be about me. But, I always make it about me don't I? I worry about how I am doing in my spiritual life or where God is leading me. But the fact of the matter is that God is the focus of everything Christian. I read this quote (which I will probably butcher) that read "I would like to get a hold of God, but my arms are too full of me".

Isn't that just like us. We would like to embrace our savior, but our hands are just too full of holding us. This past week at KidJam I just sensed a ubernatural voice telling me to let go of the things that are getting in the way of holding God. Just to let go. Not try and figure out a way to carry them in one hand and embrace God with the other arm. Not temporarily put these things down and wait to pick them up. Just let go. 

Easier said than done right. But its not about me... Its about Him and His glory and fame... Therefore He compels us and is worthy of it. 

Peace.