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


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

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...

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!!!





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!