April 30, 2009

to forgive...


Recently Elevation Church in NC interviewed Ted Haggard and his wife. They discussed candidly the fall of Ted and the restoration God has performed in their lives. I thank God for His forgiveness. I thank God for churches like Elevation that are willing to buck what the religious people think and live out what Jesus says to live out. 

I think the world is dying to hear what the Church is for versus what the church is against. We are for Christ. We are for love. We are for restoration. We are for forgiveness. We are for hope.

I would encourage you to go on Elevation's website and watch the whole video. It was really great. I want to be an agent of restoration and healing in the world. Let's create a movement together.

April 28, 2009

Really cool stuff!

Jason, our administrative director/awesomeface, wrote this post on our church blog. Thank you for giving to the people of central Florida! You rock, and you are making Jesus famous! Thank you so much!

April 27, 2009

oovoo

Have you heard of oovoo? I hadn't until yesterday. So I downloaded the program onto my Mac and it seemed to work pretty well. The only bummer part of it is after 30 days I will only be able to use the regular version versus the "super" version or whatever the junk they call it. (regular version=3 people at a time vid chat; uber version=6 people at the same time and you have video messages and storage and blah blah blah.)


But, we tried it out for the first time last night and it was cooliosis. Here's a snapshot of @katumlinson and @Chadwesley and I video chatting. (Even though @katumlinson and I were in the same house lol!) Anyways it works good, so you should try it. Unless someone out there has a better program for Macs. If you are out there and want to try let me know and maybe we can get our vidchat on!

Gut Check

"Search me Oh God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way of the everlasting."                      Psalm 139:23-24

Deep in Thailand at a buddhist monastery in Thamkrabok there is a very strange thing taking place. The monks there practice an extreme form of cleansing, which involves them drinking an herbal concoction and then projectile vomiting everything out of their system before meditation. 

Talk about cleaning out the system eh? You can do that or, if you are a Christ follower you have the opportunity for spiritual cleansing without heaving up your breakfast oatmeal. See, even if you have been following after Christ, it is always good to have a spiritual "gut check". Ask God to check your heart and motives. Ask Him if there are any ways in your life that are not completely sold out to Him. 

...and leave the projectile vomiting to the buddhist monks in Tamkrabok ;)


going Orange!

This week the children's ministry crew, myself and Pastor Mike are headed to the ATL area for the Orange conference. It should prove to be a worthwhile experience and hopefully a fun time too! 

I think Mr. Brad is getting an RV and we are going to head up to the conference Road Rules style, so please be praying for me ;). I will be praying for you and am looking forward to next week, when we talk about Love Stories in our LOVESICK series!


PS. If you missed last week you will have to ask your friends about this cute little picture of cupid and why we showed it. (scary huh?!  Quit laughing... That's not me...)



April 25, 2009

RADIUS 09--extended dates!

If you wanted to go to Radius 09 and missed the deadline for signup, here's the deal. We are going to keep the registration period open one more week. That's it! one more week to get urself signed up under the $200 rate. I need to get $50 from you pronto if you wanna go to missions camp. $50 due May 3rd. (LAST CHANCE!!!)

Do it!

Saturday Sillies: Cat Flushing a Toilet??

                         

April 23, 2009

Epic.

I have seen quite a few things over the years, but nothing quite as epic as Danny MacAskill on his bike. I watched this video like 10 times over and over because I was amazed and inspired. I mean this guy takes something as simple as bike riding and turns it on its head. Wow. 

What if we decided to do what we do in epic proportions? What would your life look like? What would your community look like? What would our church look like?
Epic....   

                         

please pray for John...

Please pray for john saddington and his family. I'll let you read the post, but he just
needs your prayers and support. I met him up at catalyst one day and he has a great heart for Christ and is really a humble guy who is very diligent in his work for NorthPoint. Thanks for lifting him and his family up.

Norm

Burdened to have beautiful feet

"And how will anyone go without them being sent? That is why the scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of the messengers that bring good news!" Romans 10:15

All people are called to be missionaries. You are called to live a missional life wherever you are and whatever you do. But, there are some people that God burdens to go global with His message. I have several friends that are "missionaries" to different countries. But they lived missional before God called them to go overseas. 

The reason I write this post is there might be someone out there who is feeling that tug of taking the gospel globally in their heart. I believe with all my heart that God is still asking people to step out and be wholly His in another country. Could this be you?

There are tons of ways to learn more. You can check plenty of stuff on the web like this or like this. (but this is not the only ways, there are tons). Again I'm not saying missionaries are extra-spiritual or that it is a better calling than living and loving people stateside, but this is for those who have a burden to have beautiful feet overseas. You know if that is you. If it is you, I'll be praying for you and you can always talk to me about it!!! See ya sunday!

If this is not you try reading 10 ways to avoid being a missionary.

April 22, 2009

Wednesday Friendsday Podcast

                          video

April 21, 2009

boring is the new cool

                                   BLACK DOT                                  

April 20, 2009

Easter chills...


Easter at Eola Story Cards/Jesus Paid It All from Grace Fellowship on Vimeo.

Video from Easter at Eola. If you were there you probably remember this well, I still get chills watching the video. 

If you weren't there, on the opposite of each testimony card there was a piece of the picture of Jesus on the other side and after they showed their story they turned it around and assembled it one by one to make the picture you saw at the end. A very moving piece, a tribute to our very amazing God.   Enjoy!

April 18, 2009

Make a movement

So, I have been challenged over and over again by God this week to make my life count. I want to bring glory to Jesus' name by what a say, but more importantly by what I do. I love working with teenagers. One of the greatest reasons is because when Christ grasps the heart of a teenager the whole world better look out! 

There are so many people that think they are living the good life by living the eternal spring break lifestyle. But the twenty on that is I have already been there. There is no bright and shiny end of the tunnel. It only gets darker and harder to find your way. What I would give to have met Christ at the age of thirteen, but some of you reading this are right there.

You are young and you can make the choice to not waste your life. And to you, I am proud of you, because you have taken one step closer to becoming a leader for Christ. See ya' Sunday!!!

April 17, 2009

Is this thing on?!? *

Ungrateful Dead?

I don't really know who the Grateful Dead are. And I certainly can't quote any of their music, but I can appreciate the idea Seth is trying to convey. But I think with any modern bands that have a passionate "grassroots" following we can see the concept of "tribes" in action.

Communication is multi-faceted:

I think for me it is fairly simple to understand the importance of good communication to the tribe, but what makes these pages a little more challenging is to understand the significance of communication within the tribe (or feedback loops from the tribe to the leader) that can take your tribe to a whole other level.

p23 "...there is a difference between telling people what to do and inciting a movement. The movement happens when people talk to one another, when ideas spread within the community, and most of all, when peer support leads people to do what they have always knew was the right thing"


In this portion of the book Godin presents four kinds of communication:
1. Leader to tribe
2. Tribe to leader
3. Tribe member to tribe member
4. Tribe member to outsider


Improving a tribe

Out of these four areas which do you think your organization/tribe/tea group/etc. knock out of the park and which one's need improvement?

What are some ways you have transformed a "shared interest into a passionate goal/desire for change"?

Throughout our blogs about the book we have heard of various tools used to communicate to our tribe, does anyone have any cutting edge things that we have not discussed yet, in order to improve/focus/help our communication?

How can we generate tribal buzz "off-line"? or is it even possible to do this offline? The reason I ask about off-line is in our day to day meetings with our local tribes (for me i.e. our fellowship, etc.)


*My apologies for the late post. Life jumped up and bit me on the rear end this morning and now I'm here! 


April 16, 2009

April 15, 2009

200th Post: The theology of "sweet chicken"...

Last year, when I helped out with Gracekids @Camp KidJam (PS, i made the 09 promo video, cuz Im cool like that!) we ran into a really awesome guy named Derrick Tennant. He was basically the MC/Comedic entertainment of the camp, but he also ran around camp like a wild-man too, which made camp crazy!

Anyways, one of his favorite sayings was "Sweet Chicken!" Anytime he was on stage or anytime something happened that he though was the bomdizzle, he would say "Sweeeeeet Chicken!!!" Now this word became part of the vocabulary of the campers for the week. So anytime something good happened we would say "Sweet Chicken." 

Do you guys have any unique sayings that you use that people may or may not know? There is a student pastor that I know that likes to use the phrase "What the monkey?!" for things that surprise him. Pretty funny. Even if you are older, I know you had a phrase, so comment! ;)

Artist of the month... Lecrae

I have a new favorite artist this month. I know some of you might have heard some of his stuff at our Sunday morning meetings, but if you haven't, know it's strait legit. This artist goes by the name of Lecrae and I haven't heard an artist in a while that is just as talented as any mainstream artist and that brings the gospel harder than this guy. Peep it out! 

P.S. Perry Noble (pastor of NewSpring church) great point about music, that many Christians say they are willing to give up their life for the lost, but he challenged them and asked were they willing to give up their style of music to reach the lost? So if this style offends you, take it up with Jesus.



I know a lot of people out there scared they gone die
Couple of em thinking they'll be livin in the sky
But while I'm here livin man I gotta ask why, what am here fo I gotta figure out
Waste my life
No I gotta make it count
If Christ is real then what am I gone do about
All of the things in Luke 12:15 down to 21
You really oughta go and check it out

Paul said if Christ ain't resurrect then we wasted our lives
Well that implies that our life's built around Jesus being alive
Everyday I'm living tryin show the world why
Christ is more than everything you'll ever try
Better than pretty women and sinning and living to get a minute of any women and men that you admire
Ain't no lie

We created for Him-Outta the dust he made us for Him
Elects us and he saves us for Him
Jesus comes and raises for Him
Magnify the Father why bother with something lesser
He made us so we could bless Him 
and to the world we confess him
Resurrects him-So I know I got life
Matter fact better man I know I got Christ
If you don't' see His ways in my days and nights
You can hit my brakes you can stop my lights
Man I lost my rights
I lost my life
Forget the money cars and toss that ice
The cost is Christ
And they could never offer me anything on the planet that'll cost that price.
CHORUS: Dont want to WASTE MY LIFE  

Armed and dangerous
So the devil jus can't hang wit us
Christian youth them a stand wid us
Livin' n driven
Given a vision
Fullfillin the commission he handed us
London to Los Angeles
Da rap evangelist
Ma daddy wouldn't abandon us
"I gotta back pack fulla tracts plus I keep a Johnny Mac"
So are you ready to jam with us
So let's go, gimme the word an let's go
Persecution let's go
Tribulation let's go
Across the nation let's go
Procrastination bes go
Hung on the cross in the cold
Died for da young and the old
Can't say you never know
Heaven knows
How many souls are going to hell or to heaven so we gotta go in and get em
Whaaaaat!

Yeah do it for Christ if you trying to figure what to do with your life
If you making money hope you doing it right because the money is God's you better steward it right
Stay focused if you ain't got no ride
Your life ain't wrapped up in what you drive
The clothes you wear the job you work
The color your skin, naw we Christian first
People living life for a job
Make a lil money start living for a car
Get em a house a wife kids and a dog
When they retire they living high on the hog
But guess what they didn't ever really live at all
To live is Christ yeah that's Paul I recall
To die is gain so for Christ we give it all
He's the treasure you'll find in the mall
Your money your singleness marriage talent and time
They were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
That's why it's Christ in my rhymes
That's why it's Christ all the time
My whole world is built around him He's the life in my lines
I refused to waste my life
He's too true ta chase
That ice
Heres my gifts and time cause I'm constantly trying to be used to praise the Christ
If he's truly raised to life
Then this news should change your life
And by his grace you can put your faith in place that rules your days and nights.
----DONT WANNA WASTE MY LIFE----

April 14, 2009

Get real... and then get going!

  Recently I decided to start working out for the first time in a long time. I can tell you that I am WAY outta shape. It was a hard fact for me to swallow, but I am not the athlete I used to be when I was 20. 

Basically I had to come to grips with the fact that I cant run 7 minute miles, I can't bench 245lbs 8 times, I can't be 20 year old Norm anymore. I Can't... So I had to reprogram my brain to honestly appraise my physical situation to 30 year old Norm...

In the book Good to Great I discovered that in order for companies, people, anything really to get from "good" to "great" there first needs to be an honest appraisal of where you are at now. This idea is applicable on so many levels. I started to think about this in my spiritual life. How many times do I think I should be like Paul, or for a more recent example, Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne or Steven Furtick, etc? 

I really believe that God is teaching me that I need to take MY next step. Just like in working out, there is no way you can go from a level one cardio class to a 3hour spinning class in two days. *(Now let me make a quick remark here. God may choose to catapult you into the next level in one day because He can do what He wants, but in my personal experience we have to take one step at a time, day after day. i.e. being faithful in the small/everyday things b4 the big) 

So in the working out thing I am basically starting from square one. But, realizing this was the best thing that ever happened. I am not kicking myself every second for not being 20yr old Norm. As far as I am concerned that guy never existed. I need to focus on where I am at now and where I need to go. 

Same thing with Christ. I just want to take one step closer to Him today. I want to be faithful with today and press on to the goal. Will you ask God to help you have an honest appraisal today? 


April 13, 2009

The big think tank!!!


I am really excited about the opportunity to be involved in a web-conversation about Seth Godin's latest book Tribes. There are going to be almost 30 contributing authors discussing this on all of their personal blogs. (You can find a list of them here!) 

Personally, I am amazed (and humbled) at the great thinkers/bloggers that are out there that are participating in this project. I hope I can keep up with them, y'know since my vernacular of choice is middle-school speak ;)! 

I'll be blogging this Friday (4/17) about pages 21-26. I encourage those of you who follow the blog to check out other blogs in the list above during this time to check out what others have to say. Plus I hope you might find some blogs you would like to follow in the future. I always find it is such a cool way to feel connected with people all around the globe!

Anyways thanks for reading, if you are so compelled to start reading about this project with me, the first post is today on churchcrunch.com!

its Monday... now what?!?

Easter at Eola was quite an amazing event. We really got to see the power of God moving among all the people involved. For many people that came, this Sunday was the first time, in a long time, that they had the opportunity to come to worship. Many people got much needed assistance from the Destiny Foundation and many people enjoyed a small taste of what it will be like when people take a step to serve their community. It was a great day.

So today is Monday.... Now what?!? Christ has still defeated death. Christ still is Lord of the Universe. Christ is still the center of our affection. It's time to take our next step toward Him. Even if you took your first step yesterday, it is a new day! ...and with that new day it is time to take a next step.

I encourage you to take a next step. Pray to God in the next few moments and ask Him what that may be. You might be surprised! He is risen! Go and be the Church!

If you are stumped, here is a place you can start: NEXT STEP (http://www.gogracefellowship.com/easternextstep.html)

April 7, 2009

Praying for this Easter!

This Easter we have a great opportunity to serve and share the good news of Christ with central Florida. I know that this will be an awesome chance for Grace to be hope and share love with people in Orlando. Will you join us in prayer for this upcoming weekend? Even if you are a student, your prayers can make a big difference.

You might be asking, "What can I pray for?" Good question, I'll give you a few things.

1. Pray for the Grace staff and volunteers for this event. There is so much behind-the-scenes stuff going on, even before this weekend.

2. Pray for the Destiny Foundation of Central Florida. We are coordinating with them to help feed the working poor on Easter sunday. Pray that this goes smoothly and many people can get the help they need.

3. Pray for the many people who do not know Christ this weekend to take their next step toward Christ.

4. Pray for the weather to cooperate and for it to be a great Sunday for all the events going on Easter sunday.

5. Pray for the Easter Egg Hunt that GraceKids is having after the service. That it goes well and the kids have a safe and fun time.

6. Pray for anything else that you can think of. Plus give thanks to God for being a sovereign and holy God who loves you and me very much!

Can't wait to see YOU there!

April 6, 2009

Holler at'cha boy!




So, are you getting excited about Easter at Eola? You should be! It is going to be a great time of serving those in need in central Florida and worshipping with all of your homies from Grace Fellowship. 

We really want to get as many people out there as possible, so I want to see YOU out here for our 8:00AM service. Maybe you are already planning on coming. If that is you how about SUPER-sizing your Easter and helping out by serving @GraceKids Easter Egg Spectacular? We need you (and your parents) to help out, by being monitors for the Easter Egg Spectacular from 9:00 AM to 11:00AM. 

Let me tell you, the smiles on the kids faces will be totally worth it! But, know this is a chance for us to put what we have been learning about Christ into action! So let me know if you are able to serve by emailing me or buzzing me on the celly. Okay! Good!

April 5, 2009

Radius 09

What are you up to this June? Do you feel like taking a few days to make a difference in someone's life? I bet you would make a BIG difference and we want to help you do it!

This summer Grace Student Ministry is heading to Auburn, AL to do a summer missions project and we want YOU there!!! We are headed to immersed4students Radius Camps, and it will be a summer experience you wont want to miss.

Cost for the trip is $200 for early bird and $250 for late registration. $50 deposit is due April 26th. Space is limited so please sign up as soon as possible or email Norm for faq's!!!

April 3, 2009

Who wants the ball???

If any of you know me. You know that I love football. I was born into a football family and lived in a football state, so from the time I could remember I always wanted to play. I played defense and my favorite thing to do was tackle people. I loved contact. 

I was listening to Perry Noble speak the other day at Unleash 09. We were there live, but we had to leave early and so I watched the rest of that last service online. In this message he talked about playing rugby in australia with some peeps from Hillsongs Church. He said that at first he didn't want to get the ball because people who get the ball get hit. Hit hard...

But after a while, he was bored... Then Perry decided he wanted the ball... I would like to take a second to challenge you. Are you bored? Has your walk with Christ lost it's verve, passion, drive, etc.? 

...When is the last time you carried the ball?

When is the last time you told God, "I want the ball!" I don't care if I get knocked down, hit, made fun of or stumble I want to carry the name of Christ to this world. When was the last time you asked God to do the extraordinary through you? I hope you will be encouraged and challenged to pick up the ball today. Get your head in the game and start serving Christ with all you got!!!

April 1, 2009

Psalm 124:2-5,8

"If the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us, with their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away... Our help is the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."