January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Speech

Dear Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburg Steelers, 
Here is the greatest motivational speech made by movies ever. Watch it and click your heels three times and you shall win the champeenship!

January 29, 2009

more than twinkies...

Statistics, in a George Barna survey, say that 66-75% of "christian" teens leave their faith after high-school.
58% of "christian" teens believe all faiths teach equally valid truths.
70% don't believe an absolute truth exists.
50% do not believe Jesus rose from the dead.

Some may say, "shame on these teens..." I say shame on the church. We as student ministers have the obligation (and the privilege) to teach the Christ of the scriptures. Many students are taking Calculus and reading Tolstoy at school. Students are being challenged in many aspects of their lives, why not in church?

There is a quote that really reflects this best, "Most youth leaders have taken the greatest subjects, hidden them behind the counter and fed their kids junk food Christianity instead." 

Will you partner with me to not just feed students a junk food Christianity? Will you make it less about behavior modification and more about our Lord and Saviour? Will you allow your students to ask you and me the hard questions, so that their faith will be bolstered under fire? Will you be challenged to know Christ more personally to lead students to HIM? 

January 26, 2009

The power of WE!

Our next series starts this weekend! I am really pumped about it because this will help us grow together as a student ministry. Check it out!

Upcoming series WE: Feb 1-15 from Norman Tumlinson on Vimeo.

January 25, 2009

One of my favorite bands ever: Explosions in the Sky

Much of today's music is a joke. Lyrics can be so shallow and devoid of any passion. One of my favorite bands of all time is from Texas and they do not have a single lyric. But they are still one of the best bands ever...ever...ever(reverb)


January 24, 2009

The personal touch: drive thru

I am a lazy bum. I LOVE the drive thru. I am the reason that drive thru was invented. I want my greasy excuse of a burger NOW. But a funny thing happened the other day...

Instead of driving through I actually went in. What I noticed is that I had a chance to interact with people. Not only the person up front but some of the people in the restaurant as well. I actually had a pleasant experience with the cashier and it was weird. 

Im still weirded out.

January 23, 2009

Friday Five: Five best yo' mama jokes***

1. Your momma is so big she got arrested at the airport for ten pounds of crack.

2. Your momma is so fat she goes to the restaurant, looks at the menu and says "okay!" 

3. Your momma is so dumb that when she went to the movies and read no-one under 17 admitted, she went and got 16 friends.

4. Your momma is so ugly her reflection quit.

5. Your momma is so fat that when she ran away they had to use all four sides of the milk carton for her missing picture.

*** it's just jokes, i love your momma, dont be mad

January 22, 2009

Dag Jesus, make it rain!

When I became a follower of Christ at 19 I was taught the "nice gospel"(nice gospel i.e.- Christians are to be sweet to everyone, respect their elders [even if your elder is not a Christ follower... but still a deacon], behave correctly in church, wear your sunday best, don't be liberal, etc...).  

Where in the world did we get this "be nice" gospel mentality? Did Christ come to save us so that we could just be liked by the world? Many people say, "Well, Jesus was meek and mild and He was just so darned friendly to people." Really?!?!? Really?!?! 

I was reading this scripture and I ran into Luke 14. If the gospel of Jesus is about "being nice people" then he is really screwing it up here. He bluntly confronts the "nice-church people" (i.e. pharisees) in their grill.

So he is kickin' it with church people and they invite him to this really nice (pancake dinner) banquet. The church people plant a man that is crippled at the party right in front of Jesus, to see what He would do. 

FREEZE: *Now the nice gospel version has Jesus minding his own business (to respect the church people who invited you to the party) and maybe for him to go heal the guy after desert, in the bathroom, where nobody is looking. 

But Jesus looks right through their plan and asked them straight up, "Is it lawful to the heal on the Sabbath or not?" No one said a word....  Jesus saw through their plan and loudly called them out. 

If you read later in the passage you see one of the pharisees (nice church people) saying, "Blessed be the people who will eat at the feast in the Kingdom of God!" This sounds so pious and church-esque. But Jesus goes on to tell all these polished religious people that God is looking for people that really want to come to the feast, the broken, the down-and-outers, and the unlovely, not "nice churchy" people. 

Dag Jesus, why you so blunt and honest? Be nice... NOT!

January 21, 2009

Attention poor

Life is flying fast. I mean its like BAM! Now I am kickin' it in the lower thirties. What tha? What I have noticed, though, is instead of my attention span becoming longer it has seemed to become even shorter. I mean I want my information instantaneously and preferably in pictures.

But is that the way to have a meaningful life? I am not here to talk about the evils of technology and blah blah blah. I am just talking about myself and how I have become attention poor. I have found myself listening to somebody talk and the internal voice in my head was saying, "I wish this person would give me a synopsis, 140 characters or less please." But I started noticing when I was talking other people had this same dazed look on their face too. (yeah, i noticed you)

I was reading somewhere that the reason we have so little attention is that we are trying to process and exponentially larger amount of information then we were 10-20 years ago. Information has increased but our time is still the same. We still only have 24 hours in a day, but the pages of information out there at our fingertips is staggering. 

So if you have hung with me this long, here is what I want you to try and do. I want you to take some time to day to actually listen to someone when they are talking to you. Dont think about what you are going to say, just listen to what they are saying and pay attention. It may be hard, but its a missing commodity these days that will be welcomed with the people you spend time with today.

January 20, 2009

Small Stakes

So you have been sitting at the far end of the table... Watching. Waiting. Trying to catch the vibe of the table. You have played a couple of hands. Folded. No big actions.

You try to remain subtle, but you feel like you have just been biding your time. But there is something in you. Something that says enough waiting... You want to go all in. But logic tells you that if you risk it all you could lose everything. lose... everything...

But when you risk only a few chips, it feels weak. Anyone, can do that. When you go all in there is no "safety" net. You step forward and you say "I'm done playing small stakes, I want more". No, its time. It's time for you to risk it all. It's time for you to go ALL IN....

Where are you in life? Are you just coasting by at the far end of the table? Do you wonder, "Is there more than this?" Maybe you have just been playing half-hearted hands. I don't know you, but you do. Whatever it is that God is moving your heart to do. Do it all the way...

January 17, 2009

missing you...

Well we are on mini-vacation right now in ATL. I miss you guys much and it is soooooooooo cold here. But we are having fun! We'll see you next week!! Peace!

January 16, 2009

Friday Five: Five things I would do if I could be Darth Vader for one day

1. Sing the Star-Spangled Banner at an Orlando Magic game

2. Use the force to poke my dog in the nose when he is barking.

3. Use my light-saber to open... well just about anything.

4. Get a batallion of storm troopers to wash my car, clean my office and help me get into Epcot for free.

5. Fly that cool looking Darth Vader tie fighter over I-4 and go through the Steak and Shake drive through with it!

Sneak Peek @ February: We

Upcoming series WE: Feb 1-15 from Norman Tumlinson on Vimeo.

January 14, 2009

Forward Motion: Goal!!!

Hey yous guys!!! I just wanted to make sure that you students are still working on your goals for Forward Motion! This next Sunday we are going to be talking about your goals and the steps you took to get closer to that this week. We are going to talk about celebrating your achievements as well!

So take your next step toward Christ and your goal this week. If you don't remember what you were going to do, just set a new one so we can talk about it next week @ 10:45. Much love to yous guys and gals!!! Have fun this week!!!

January 13, 2009

Psalm 2:7

" I will proclaim the decree of the Lord; He said to me "You are my son; today I have become your Father."

Do you feel alone? Are you out there and are in a moment of desperation? God hears you when you cry to Him. He is there. 

I remember when I first met Christ. I was a mess. I was going straight to hell and my world was imploding. Jesus was revealing to me how worthless this life was without Him. I didn't even know what to pray, but I knew that I needed Him.

I know that some of you that are out there are in desperate need of Him. Everything that you thought you knew about Him is now being revealed and Christ is asking you to take a step toward Him. Your first real step. 

Take it. God is there. God is real.

January 12, 2009

Image or Integrity?

I really enjoy my work. I love working with students and their families and volunteers as well. I get so much pleasure from seeing students take their next step toward Christ, and at Grace we are seeing that every week! 

One of the things I do to prepare for Sunday talks is to read a variety of books. This week I was reading in a leadership book and I came across a statement that I thought was quite profound. "Image is what people think we are. But integrity is what we really are."

This statement was a challenge to me and I hope it will be to you as well. You have heard the saying "image is everything" right? I believe too many Christians and especially Christian leaders are too concerned with image over integrity. Here are three quick ways* you can find out if you are concerned with image or integrity.

1. Consistency- are you the same person no matter who you are with?

2. Choices- do you make decisions that are best for others when another choice would benefit you?

3. Credit- are you quick to recognize others for their efforts and contribution to your success.

Many times people work so much on their image, that it collapses over the massive void that is between who they say they are and who they really are. As your student director, I couldn't care less what your image is. My heart is that you desire integrity (who you are at home and who you are when no one is looking). 

So, if you are coming to Grace for an image boost, please stay in bed. If you are not interested in growing in integrity, tell your parents you want to stay home. I want teenagers coming to Grace who are committed to working on their integrity not a "Christian" image. It's so easy for us to pretend, but you aren't fooling God.

So ask yourself the question. What am I really concerned with, image or integrity? 

* from John Mawell's book "Developing the Leader Within You"

January 11, 2009

January 8, 2009

Friday Five: Five Predictions for 2009

Here are my top five...er six predictions for 2009

1. Mike Adkins will sport a full beard one sunday.

2. Texas and Florida will play in the national championship next year.

3. Jason and Anne V. will start a fortune 500 cupcake making side-business.

4a. David Paul will use slang correctly and give up the fist-bump*

4b. Chad Wyatt will create the best Bootsy Collins Christmas eve service ever.

5. Beth and Bobby Hewitt will be blessed with unexpected twins.

* least likely to happen 

January 7, 2009

Forward Motion: The Walk

This Sunday we are going continuing our series "Forward Motion". This week we are talking about "the walk". The way you get from where you are to where you want to be is one step at a time. 

Hopefully we will learn to live veraciously, passionately, and above all purposefully (for His name's sake). I found a clip that illustrates this to a tee. I haven't seen this in a while, but it reminds me to keep moving forward, even when all is lost. God is there. 

January 6, 2009

next steps...

On Sundays we have been talking about what it means to be a Christian in forward motion. We talked about how following God is not about giant impossible leaps but daily steps. Even a baby step is a step forward, you know!

I know that when I want to take a new step, I tell someone so they can encourage me in that area. The reason for this accountability is so my friend and I can celebrate the victory together. So I wanted to pose this question to the students, "What is your next step?

Remember its not about a huge leap, so don't think you have to say, "I am going to read 70 chapters of the Bible a day". Its about your next step.

So its your turn to comment, what's your next step?

January 5, 2009

to slip and fall...

When I was in the fifth grade my family took one of our many trips up to Enchanted Rock (which was about an hour from where I grew up). But this day was different... My cousins (from south Texas) were in town! -insert sarcastic tone here-

 If you have never been there, E-Rock is made of solid granite. The previous three days it had been raining. Granite gets really slick when wet. My clueless cousins wanted to go up to the top, but our parents vehemently warned us not to try.

The brain trust, known as our first cousins, started going up anyways and my bro and I (having climbed E-Rock umpteen times) decided we better stick with them, since the tallest thing to climb in south Texas is a red-ant hill. 

We decided the best way to climb the rock was gradually (to keep from climbing at too steep of an incline). After a while we worked ourselves to the wrong side of the rock. There is one side of E-Rock that is easily climbed by foot, then there is the repelling side. (i.e. very steep rain-slicked slope). I don't even really remember how far up we got or how we even got to the steep side. All I know is that it was very dangerous.

-Insert mother's voice-over "I told you so" here-  
Half way up, my little brother slips. He slides on his belly, what seemed to be like 20 feet. The only thing that stopped his descent was an outcropping of grass that had grown from a big crack in the side of the granite face. 

Immediately my six year old brother burst into tears. There he was trapped on the edge of the slope and it was too slick to climb up. Somehow we figured a way to get him up by making a human chain to reach down to him. It was crazy. My brother cried the whole way back. But the funny thing is that I think something really seemed to change in him that day... 

See, ever since then my brother seemed to never be afraid of anything again. It's like he faced a great fear and made it through to the other side. If you know anything about my brother, you know he lives life at 100 miles an hour and he gives himself into everything 110%. I couldn't help to think, how much that day changed him. Instead of being afraid, he faced his fears and subdued them.

How many times do you run into people that faced a great fall and gave up? Or let me pose another question. What if God actually allows painful (life-threatening, scary, you take your pick at the adjective) things to happen in order to birth within us a resolve to live fiercely for Him? 

I'm not trying to shortchange the legitimacy of some of the painful and difficult things in your life. But what if God meant for the very thing that scared you to death to bring you to life? 

January 4, 2009

Fast Forward: Video One

Fast Forward--Ninth Grade Hit

January 3, 2009

To be led or to be fed?

I like this article I recently read on the website www.neueministry.com. It challenged me in a few ways. If you have the time. Take a look at it and comment some feedback. Do you think it's more important to be fed or to be led?