Friday, February 29, 2008
Eric Clapton, one of the world's most talented and celebrated musicians had this to say when asked what he had learned over the years:
One of the most beneficial things I have ever learned is how to keep my mouth shut.
In other news, Chikezie survived the cuts made on American Idol last night. America has at least one more week to use the word Chikezie in their conversations without people thinking they are nuts. I am considering using the word Chikezie as part of my day to day communication. It could be a great exclamation. For example, Chipper Jones hits a three run homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Mets and you respond by yelling "Chikezie!", or your boss calls you in and says you will be receiving a 7% raise for your hard work, you can pump your fist like Tiger Woods and quietly say "Chikezie" through clenched teeth. Just a suggestion.
I have been enjoying reading through Matthew 20-28 this week as we get ready for Easter. One thing you can never say about Jesus is that He tried to make everyone happy. He spent much of the teaching time He had in the days before His death calling the religious leaders, "hypocrites", "snakes", "tombs", and "evil". That is a great reminder to me that as I stand to teach each week my focus should be on God's truth, not what others might think about that truth.
Last night I was able to spend some alone time with Grace. We went to Pizza Inn, ate too much pizza, then came home and played. When I think about the the meaning of joy, Grace comes to mind. I don't know if she knows how to have a bad day. Spending time with her reminds me that there is much more to be excited about in my life than there is to be worried about.
See you on Sunday! Invite a friend to join you this week, you'll be glad you did.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
In the first chapter I read this sentence about the nature of scripture: "...the book God gives us is like no other. God seems far more concerned with transformation than mere information."
Those words really resonated with me. I was just talking this morning with the guys I had breakfast with about how I need to be careful when I read the Bible that I am not merely trying to find verses for the next series of messages that I will be delivering at Freedom. Instead, I should just go to God's word as a follower of Him and allow His Spirit to transform me as I read.
I am a natural information gatherer. Whether it's sports statistics, music trivia, or funny jokes, I like to hear as much as possible so I can have a knowledge of lots of different things. I need to be sure and not allow the scripture to just become a subject that I could win a trivia contest with. Transformation, not just information. I'll try to remember that.
- By the way, the spell check is working again. I will no longer be held responsible for misspellings.
Friday, February 22, 2008
"Anybody can jump a motorcycle. The trouble begins when you try to land it"
In other news, Chikezie survived the first round of cuts on American Idol last night. It looked for a moment like he might be going home, but he's still alive to sing for another week. He overcame a sub-par performance, a poor choice in wardrobe, and Simon mispronouncing his name. The only way I can explain how he made it is that America must have Chikezie-mania!
I had a great time speaking this morning for FCA at Riverside High School. It was very cool to see such large group of teenagers willing to arrive at school at 7 a.m. to worship together. Pray today for the teenagers in your life. The temptations and struggles they face today are great, and I believe God wants to do some amazing things in their generation.
I mentioned last week about a possible opportunity concerning land and a building for Freedom. An initial meeting yesterday went well. Please pray for the following guys who will be looking over this information as we try to determine what God's next step is for us: Tracy Burkhalter, John Bostic, Lance Owens, and Brian Thomas. Pray daily for these men by name. We know the only plan that will work is God's plan, and we want to do nothing but that!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
"Don't confuse success with excellence. Success is comparing yourself with someone else, excellence is comparing yourself with your potential."
"We should wake up each morning and ask, 'Did I take a step yesterday toward reaching my God-given potential?' "
Those are good things for me to remember.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Other randomness from this past weekend:
- We got some new carpet installed in our office on Friday. I was here working when the guys were putting it in, and that glue they use gave me a nasty headache. The guys who were installing the carpet weren't wearing masks. I don't know how they do it.
- We had plenty of help moving furniture back in the office yesterday afternoon. Thanks to everyone who pitched in! I asked for about 7 guys, and we ended up with over a dozen. We were finished in 20 minutes, plenty of time for everyone to get home in time for the green flag at Daytona.
- I coached both of my girl's basketball teams on Saturday. Charles (Emily's coach) had the flu so I filled in for him. I have realized that I hate to lose a lot more when I coach a game than when I played. I can't imagine what it must be like for college and professional coaches who know their jobs are on the line. Maybe I should be a little less critical of their decision making, but I probably won't.
- There's lots to be done this week. Please pray that I will use my time correctly, and that God will give me wisdom in decision making. I am excited about what God wants to do at Freedom, and I hope you are as well!
Friday, February 15, 2008
"Kindness is a more valuable commodity than intelligence"
My college buddy Dave wrote a great post on his blog about excercising our faith. It is a must read. Check it out here.
I'm looking forward to worship on Sunday. Come ready to be challenged in a very specific way about how you can take your spiritual life to a higher performance level. If you want a preview, read James 5:16.
When does American Idol go to Hollywood? Emily and I haven't been watching it yet, but we will start when all the people who embarrass themselves on national t.v. have been weeded out.
Mark Johnson and I went to see an amazing bass player at the Handlebar on Wednesday. His name is Victor Wooten and he is most famous for playing with Bela Fleck. I never knew a man's fingers could move that fast!
Donny goes to the Neurologist for a follow-up visit today. Pray that he will continue to heal and get his energy back.
One last thing, keep praying for the future of Freedom in regards to where we will eventually have a building. I had an interesting conversation today with someone that could possibly lead to something important, or it could be nothing but a dead-end. Pray that we will have the wisdom to know the difference.
Still no spellcheck available on blogger. This is getting old.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Regardless of what Clemens has or hasn't done, his best move now is to tell the truth. As my 7 year-old, Grace, told Sherry yesterday, "when you tell a lie, you have to tell another one to cover it up, then it becomes a chain reaction of lies." She learned that from Angelia Marzka and Allison Bregg on Sunday in Break Free Kids. The most important lessons really are the simplest ones aren't they? Maybe Clemens would do well to remember the lessons he learned in Sunday School as a child. Perhaps we all would benefit from that. If I were one of the Rocket's advisors I would ask him the best question ever: "What is the wise thing to do?"
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I love the last part of v.13 where it says that, "the sound was heard far away." It wasn't heard far away because the Israelites had an awesome sound system with giant woofers that could pump out a huge bass line. It was heard "far away" because the worshippers were so jacked up about God that they were shouting, screamimg, crying, clapping, and singing, and they weren't concerned with what anyone else thought! That's the kind of worship I pray we'll have at Freedom.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Donny is slowly improving. The loss of feeling on his right side has caused him to feel very drained when he tries to go places. I talked with him this morning, and he said he felt better yesterday than he did on Saturday. He goes back to the doctor on Friday for a follow-up visit.
I was reminded yesterday of why I love Freedom Fellowship. When I stood on stage yesterday and looked down at all the people who were on their knees during prayer time, I started to get emotional. It was cool to see senior adult couples, a mentally handicapped man, college students, married couples, teenagers, and families all praying openly to God about what's going on in their lives.
I'm glad I don't own Guitar Hero. That doesn't mean I don't like Guitar Hero or don't want Guitar Hero. The Breece's came over for supper last night and Mike brought Guitar Hero II for the PS2 and it was awesome. The reason I'm glad I don't own it is that if I did, I'm pretty sure I would spend way too much time playing it. I only played four songs last night, but I did score 98% on Strutter by KISS. I felt like Ace Frehley! Maybe I'll start painting my face.
I married way over my head. I was reminded yesterday morning how awesome Sherry is. Donny had been originally scheduled to preach yesterday, but due to his illness I got to bring the message instead. Normally I like to have the message totally finished by the Wednesday before, but things being as they were last week I didn't begin the message prep until Thursday. Needless to say I felt a little stressed out about that. Sherry knew that, and she prayed faithfully for me on Thursday during the prep time and throughout the service yesterday. I am blessed to have such an amazing partner to do this whole pastoring thing with. Not to mention that I really like to look at her and hang out with her as well.
I'm looking forward to a new week. We'll see what God has in store for us! Spellcheck is still down on blogspot. That, coupled with my lack of phonics knowledge is a recipe for disaster.
Friday, February 8, 2008
- Amber Ploof is doing a great job revamping our "guest services" ministry. There are still opportunities for you to be involved in welcoming guests to Freedom. This is a very important, yet very simple way for to be involved in what God is doing each week at our worship gathering. If you think you might be interested, or if you would like more information about this opportunity, talk to Amber this Sunday. You can find her at one of the tables in the atrium where the welcoming team sign-up sheet is located.
- We will be continuing the message series about fellowship being the fuel that helps us move forward on our journey with Christ. Donny did a great job last week kicking things off. We will talk Sunday about the "messiness" of getting involved in the lives of others.
- Blake has posted two of my favorite commercials on his blog. Check them out here.
- I sent ya'll to Jonathan's blog earlier this week. That was for something serious and meaningful. Go there today for something silly. Click here.
- I'm a little bleary-eyed this morning. Sherry and I had to do some middle of the night care for Grace who got a touch of the virus that has been going around. Extra big thanks go out to my main man Trey for letting me come get their carpet cleaner at 11:30 last night. Sorry I had to wake you dude!
- Sherry and I are going on a double date tonight with a girl (I guess now I should refer to her as a lady) who grew up in my youth group at Fairview and her husband. That makes me feel old.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
P.S. - Evidently the spell check on blogspot isn't working, so please ignore any misspellings. If they don't get this fixed I'll have to move this blog to a different provider.
On to some other things that I haven't written about since all the excitement started with Donnny first thing on Monday:
- What a game! I have watched a lot of football in my life, and I have seen most of the Super Bowls; this one was right at the top. It's too soon to say it was the greatest Super Bowl ever, but I'm having a hard time remembering a better one. One of the first things I thought about after the game was that I hoped my sister and brother-in-law let my nephews stay up watch the whole thing. They'll be able to tell their kids one day about the awesome Super Bowl of 2008. By the way, did anyone notice if Bellicheck cried after the game?
- I have been in Hendersonville, NC for the last two days doing some praying and brainstorming about the messages for 2008. It is always so helpful for me to get away, slow down and listen to what God wants to teach me.
- My friend Jonathan Everette who is in the process of planting a new church in Spartanburg has written a great post on his blog about vision and direction of church. Click here to read it.
That's all for now. Keep praying for Donny and Shelley.