February 27, 2009

the jump off... Rhythm

Okay. Don't say that I didn't give you the warning. HERE IT IS. I am letting you know to get to room 205 early and grab a seat. Why? Because it's the start of a new series and it is going to be off the chain! 

We are going to have a few cool things going on this upcoming Sunday. First of all, I have a surprise planned for the first minute so you need to be seated before 10:30!!! I think you will like it.

PLUS we have several special guests coming to visit us this Sunday as well. Why?Because we wanna do it big for this upcoming series. 

So, just incase you didn't get it the first time. GET THERE EARLY! I want to see you and a new friend there!

February 26, 2009

Catalyst One Day

This has been a great start to the day. I was a bit skeptical because we started with terrible coffee at the hotel.  But then as we traveled to the conference we were able to get some decent coffee and Krispy Kreme (feels like @gracefelowship). So nice!

So I spent sometime checking out the bookstore and all the booths and then got to tweetup with some staffers from North Point. It was nice to finally put some faces with some tweet names. Northpoint seems very nice but it has pleasantly simple architecture in the building and auditorium. I bet its a great place to worship and do life together. I can't wait until we are at that place @gracefellowship. Its on the horizon!!!

I have been learning quite a great bit about leadership in the first hour alone! Andy is a great communicator. Looking forward to the rest of the day! Check it, Catalyst One Day.

please pray for me!

Please pray for the staff as we are up at Catalyst One Day today. We are going to be near Atlanta for the day and it will be an intense all day seminar. Pray for our hearts to be refreshed and for us to hear from God on the next steps for @Gracefellowship! See you this weekend!!!

February 25, 2009

Plant some seeds!

I have a few magazines that I like to read. One of them is called "fast company". It is about the most cutting edge and innovative companies in the US. This months issue has the article "50 world's most innovative companies." I read some great stuff, but the most memorable quote came from Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com(#9).

He said, "We want to plant seeds that will grow into big trees, and that may take five to seven years. You also have to be willing to repeatedly fail--and to be misunderstood for long periods of time" 

Obviously, he is not talking horticulture. He is talking about the mindset of Amazon always pushing forward and trying new things (such as the Kindle). In my opinion, he is also talking about making investments that might take a long time to actually come to fruition. This challenged me to think. What "seeds" am I planting in my life that will someday become "trees"? 

It's funny to think of us impacting things in the next generation, but what if we started living to do just that. What if we consider our present interactions as long-term investments???  wait... just got a headache... lol! 

February 24, 2009

Great resource for Student Ministry

One of my favorite student ministry gurus is Doug Fields. I know. I know. He's not one of these flashy new guys (like me, lol) but he just has so much student ministry wisdom. 

He worked under Rick Warren at Saddleback and wrote a book called, " Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry" which is one of the best books a new student pastor could read. He has great insight and years of ministry experience to couple it with. Anytime I am looking for resources I check out his site http://www.simplyyouthministry.com/

I sound like a Doug Fields commercial eh? I know, but I like to use this blog as a resource to other ministers, parents or students. So that is why I plug him here. Even though I am not nearly as old as him, I hope to be doing this student ministry gig well into my golden years. 

February 23, 2009

canned authenticity...

Have you ever seen something that was supposed to be authentic, but it was a canned version of the real thing? For example, there are many places I have been to that claim to have "authentic" tex-mex cuisine. But it's not even close. 

Now you may be like, "Norm, how do you know what good authentic tex-mex is supposed to taste like?" Let's see. I lived in Texas for 23 years. I am from Mexican american descent. Therefore I know Tex-Mex. Why? Because it's who I am. My grandmother cooks it in her kitchen every day for crying out loud. 

Its funny that churches sometimes try to strategically "can" authenticity. Here's the deal, if you are a christ follower then be a Christ follower. Don't "act" Christian or try to convince people that you are authentic, that is not what God sent Christ for. 

Colossians 3:3 says "For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." 

If it's really Tex-Mex, you don't have to pretend, people will know. So if you (or your church) really are a caring, loving, passionate, selfless (etc.) Christ follower, people will know. So don't can it.

February 21, 2009

Dreaming up the summer

This summer we are planning on reinventing our summer retreat and I want YOU to come. We have been furiously planning for the last three weeks and are almost ready to announce the dates, so please stay tuned so you can be the first to jump on with us on a trip you will never forget!!! Come check us out this sunday!

February 19, 2009

Me Church

This is a clip from Worshiphouse Media. They have got heaps of illustrational mini movies, but this is one of my favorites. (Since you know how much I love sarcasm)

Preview for meCHURCH

February 17, 2009

March 1: Teaser

Now this is what I call a "teaser" video. What is "Rhythm" all about? Well I guess you'll have to come March 1st at 10:30 in room 205 and see eh?

Rhythm Series Preview from Norman Tumlinson on Vimeo.

stoked about Sunday

This sunday we are between series. Our next series starts March 1st and it is going to be called "Rhythm". But, this Sunday we are going to be diving in on the topic of "The Scriptures" (i.e. the Bible) Im talking to the students about what the big deal is about the scriptures and how they can really impact our life.

Have you ever wondered where the Bible came from? Have you ever wondered why some parts seem so crazy or hard to understand? Have you wondered how to study the Bible? This week will answer these questions and even more!

I am so pumped about it because I love the scriptures. There is no other way to grow more in your faith then to be reading the scriptures and living those precepts out on a daily basis. I hope you come check out what we are up to and bring a friend!!! Hope you have a great week, and I can't wait to see your faces!

not from me, but from God!

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

2 Corinthians 4:7-10

This is one of my favorite scriptures. It gives me hope during the tough times, but also gives me the reason for why I do what I do. I hope that God's power may be lifted up. I hope that everything I do has the signature of Christ. I hope and pray that is your heart today!

February 13, 2009

return of the friday five... 8bits of raw power!

My top five 8bit Nintendo video games...

1.  Tecmo Super Bowl

2. Zelda II (the adventure of link)

3. Contra

4 Castlevania

5. Double Dragon

honorable mention: Bad Dudes, Karate Champ, Bases Loaded, Mega Man 3, Top Gun

What's your fave five??

February 12, 2009

Purity: where do you walk?

For the guys out there who read this blog, this is a post for you. (Not that the ladies cannot read and get something out of it, but I am talking from a man's perspective)

Please take a moment to read Prov 7:7-10,

It is a pretty straightforward passage, but one thing that I did notice and want to share with you is that this young man did not just randomly fall into trouble. See there are many guys out there who struggle with lust and purity. They make the plea that they fall into the temptation of lust, blaming it on xyz, but they still keep walking down the figurative "roadway" to this sin.

See, in my opinion, the young man in this passage knew EXACTLY where he was going. He knew he was going by the prostitute's street, by the prostitute's corner, by the prostitute's house AT night! This young man made deliberate choices (4 choices in this passage to make before he fell into sin) If you notice there were several ways out for him along the way.

My point is simple, guys. We have a choice in the matter of lust and maintaining purity. You have a choice where your eyes wander. You know when you are most vulnerable to attack. You know what "street" not to go down.  1 Corinthians 10:13 is a scripture that lets us know (if you are in Christ) that God does give you the opportunity for a way out.

Remember that the choices and commitments you make today, shape who you are tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

February 11, 2009

crash landing...

God in his Goodness
took dust
with His breath
life arose

Garden living
freedom and joy
one tree is to be left alone

why God?
why plant a tree I cannot eat from?
death baits its trap

in rare form
whispers selfishly
to eat is to be 
like Him...



February 10, 2009

new look...

New look, but the same blog. I am in the process of finishing it up so please pardon my pixel dust for a little bit. I hope to have it complete by the end of this week... Pax!

did you know?

on this day in

1763 - The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War. In the treaty France ceded Canada to England.

1920 - Major league baseball representatives outlawed pitches that involve tampering with the ball.

1949, Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman" opened on Broadway. (Miller died on the same date in 2005.)

1962, the Soviet Union exchanged captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for Rudolph Ivanovich Abel, a Soviet spy held by the United States.

1996, Kasparov (world chess champion) lost a regulation, 6-game match to a computer that could evaluate 200 million moves/sec

2009, You read this blog!!! Now go get your history makin' on and make it a GREAT day!

February 8, 2009

talking is NOT the same as playing...

In Texas, high-school football is a religion. Whole towns empty and travel 200 miles to go to another small town and double their population in one night.

In my hometown (of 18000) we have a professional grade astroplay field and the capacity to seat about 9,000+ in the stadium on a regular season friday night. There is nothing like it anywhere... Friday was our sabbath and the stadium was the house of worship.  

But despite the size and frenzy of the crowd, when the lights come on Friday night, only those in the game actually change the scoreboard. There are 22 players on the field at one time. They are the ones that take the brunt of physical force in this contact sport and they determine what happens.

See no matter what the crowd thinks, no matter how much they believe that they can effect what goes on the field, these people are only spectators when it comes to playing the game. They have NO physical bearing on the outcome. (crowd noise not withstanding)

Yet many of these same people will still give advice to coaches and talk the talk of someone who is in the game. They come up with their own strategies over monday morning coffee and throw out all these ideas of how they would have done it better. But here's is where the problem comes into play.

It doesn't really matter what they talk about. It is the players who play the game. What really makes an impact in a game is the person who is in it not watching from the stadium.

I don't mind people asking me things and giving me advice. I'll definitely hear you out. But here's the deal. If you are not spending time in the game, then your words don't carry as much weight, other than being words. I want to be on journey with people who are willing to get into the game. To follow after Christ hard, and more specifically for me, those who are willing to step in and serve in the students' lives. 

Thanks to those that have been stepping it up. You mean the world to me, I take what you say very seriously. I hope more out there will join in the journey...

“It is impossible to win the race unless you venture to run, impossible to win the victory unless you dare to battle.” ---Richard M Devoss

February 5, 2009

"We" Devotional--Exodus 17

The following is a devotional from our "We" series about community. I would like for you to take some time this week to read the scripture and think about the power of community.


Read: Exodus 17:8-14

People need people. I don’t care what anyone else says. We as humans were created for relationship—and not just with God, but with each other as well. As basic as this seems, I forget that sometimes. Sometimes I think I can curl up on my couch with a good novel and some TiVo-ed episodes of my favorite show and be happy for the rest of my life

I think God either finds my lapses into this thinking totally insulting or absolutely hilarious. Maybe it is a little bit of both.

In the story of Moses, a powerful and influential man, who had more reason than anyone else to think he didn’t need people—especially whining and complaining people, like the Israelites. I have to wonder if when he went to the top of the mountain while the Israelites were fighting below, if part of him just wanted to get away.

We have no way of knowing, but I don’t think it took very long for Moses to get tired of holding up his own hands. It takes me about thirty seconds. And in one of the most compelling word pictures I have ever found in Scripture, we see how desperately and mightily he needed friends. He needed their support, their strength, their endurance, their assistance and their persistence—literally.

What do you think was going through Moses’ mind as he sat on the rock and allowed his right hand men to lift his deadened arms in the air? What do you think Aaron and Hur thought?

Why do you think we sometimes think we can do life alone?

People need people. We are not intended to be loners in this world. We need to allow ourselves to take a seat. Allow our arms to be lifted. Allow people to come in. Allow them to come close, whether we feel like we require it not. Because someday it will be essential to have the help and the hands, on either side of us, to make it. We were created for relationships. We were created for this.

Some questions to consider….
• What is an area of life that is easy for you to ask for help in?
• What is an area of life that is hard to ask for help in?
• What is one way this week where you can be intentional about getting help for someone when you would normally want to do it alone?

                                                                                                                                                          *By Sarah Anderson

Don't be jealous...

After three tours on the bingo circuit, "Sonseed" decided to cut their music career short much to the chagrin of their growing fan base. Who knows where they could have gone?

February 3, 2009

Petition 2/07 @ 7:02 Grace Offices

This Saturday the student ministry is getting together for "Petition". It is simply this, a time for our students to reach to the Father through prayer and petition. There are not going to be any games or a "message". It is just going to be us seeking the Father's heart through prayer. Any student from 6th-12th is invited to come to the Grace Offices. Hope to see you there!

February 2, 2009

Battle Hymn (Tanka verse)

Tanka verse is a form of Japanese poetry that has 5 lines. In the first and third line you have 5 syllables and in the 2nd, 4th and fifth you have 7 syllables.

I have written an example: (I have entitled it, "Battle Hymn")

the coast is not clear
but there is no time to stop
we've grown in number
but the war still carries on
many more miles to travel

Why don't you spend a little time and try leaving your tanka poem as a comment?!? Looking forward to some of your creativity!

Why do I do it?

People think that I am crazy. They don't understand why I would even consider spending my time ministering to teenagers and their families. I mean look how volatile teenagers are (not to mention what a powder keg parents are! lol, just kidding.)

But here is the skinny. God has given me a passion to help students take their next step toward HIM. Students are inundated with messages from the world that or so contrary to the message Christ has for them. Many teenagers float along, like helium balloons, taken by every gust of wind that life has to offer. 

But despite this, I have seen something beautiful. God has given me the eyes to see students as he sees them. And occasionally these students tap into this potential God as for them and take off! I have seen a teenager so broken for his school, that he got there early to pray for his campus every morning. So broken that he creates an after school group that brings revival to his campus. 

I've seen a teenager so wrapped up by God that she commits her life to serve on the Ivory Coast of Africa as a full-time teacher. Have you ever seen a seventh grader lead his parents to Christ and join an adult small group because he wanted to know more about Christ? I have. 

These are only a few of the MANY things that I have seen God do in student ministry. Students need people to see them as God sees them. To love, encourage and challenge them to be the heros God has called them to be. 

Our student ministry is growing and we will need people that are crazy... er I mean willing to jump into serving this part of our fellowship, BIGTIME. I need people that really want to invest some time in the next generation. Will you pray to God and see if He is calling you into service with us. We need you. You don't have to be perfect or uber cool. You just have to be willing and He will do the rest.

email me for questions or information about serving!