My Feeble Attempt at a Blog

2007 Triangle Harvest—with Greg Laurie, Third Day, David Crowder Band, Toby Mac, Leeland, and more!


To be (tolerant) or not to be (tolerant)?

Ugh... Okay, so Jen's watching some program on PBS called "Globe Trekker," and they just got done with a segment they filmed at an event called "Spacewalk" in the San Francisco area. What got me was as the correspondent got onto the bus for the event, she admitted - on camera - that the whole trick of the event (which was to stage random acts of dramatic art along various stops in the city) was to stay one step ahead of the police. Then, when the police came and broke up the "party," the next thing we hear is "well, I guess that San Francisco isn't as tolerant as they should be." Is it just me, or is PBS just trying too hard to cross the line? I mean, excuse me, but did we or did we not get on the bus knowing that it was AGAINST THE LAW????? HOW DENSE CAN YOU BE?

Okay, so that's my rant for the night. Sorry.

Other than that, praise God for Matthew! Today he and I prayed together to ask Jesus into his life for the first time!!! It's amazing, and I have no clue of how God is going to use him, but I pray that this would be the first in a number of steps that we'll watch him take as a Christian for the glory of God! :-)

What about you? This Sunday, Pastor Robert's going to be talking about Caleb, and... well, I just thought that I'd add in the thoughts I wrote for this week's bulletin here so that I can share them with you all... Enjoy!

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses... ...
let us run with endurance the race that is set before us"

Believe it or not, when I was in high school, I ran on the school’s cross-country team. Before you get all excited, though, there are a couple of things you should know. First, my motives weren’t completely pure. I didn’t join to get in shape. Nor did I join because I wanted to expand my horizons and get involved with sports. The real reason? There was a girl that I was attracted to that ran on the girl’s cross-country team, and I knew that if I joined, I would have opportunities to spend time with and get to know her. As much as I wanted the plan to succeed, however, it didn’t. As my desire to get to know this girl faded, so did my desire to run cross-country. My desire to show off and win races gave way to complacency and finally, my decision to quit the team, especially after I found out that the girl I had been attracted to was dating another guy.

Looking back, I know that it’s kind of silly. I mean, people will fail us. At some point or another, if we place our faith in someone else or something else, we’ll end up disappointed. Maybe you’ve been placing your trust in your work. Maybe it’s in what you have. Maybe it’s a relationship or a friendship. In fact, for the time being, that work, possession, relationship - whatever it may be - has been your reason for wanting to get up in the morning. I know that when I was racing, and that the girl was watching, I’d run faster. But are you truly happy? And what happens when the bottom falls out? You lose your job? Your possession breaks? Your friends fail you?

Paul often likens the Christian life to a race. Yet rather than placing our trust in the things of this world, we are called to place our trust in God - who will never fail us. As we read through the story of Caleb this morning, we see the Israelites being faced time and time again with a choice - in whom will they place their trust? Whose side will they choose? God’s side? Or their own? Sadly, we know how that story ends.

Caleb and the Israelites weren’t the only ones who face that choice, however. It’s a choice that we must face daily. Whom will we serve? It’s the same choice that was set before the Israelites in Deuteronomy 30:15.

"See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgements that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish..."

Which choice will you make? As we studied today, Caleb followed God fully, and that made all the difference. Caleb’s trust in God and His promises kept him going even when it seemed impossible to go on. What happens in your life when life seems impossible? It has often been said that Christians are like tea bags - you don’t know what they’re made of until you put them in hot water. What flows out of you when life becomes hard?

Maybe it’s been a while since you trusted in God. Since you were running the race for Him. You placed your trust in Him at one point, but as the choices were set before you, other things got in the way. That’s why I believe He has placed the choice before you once again. The question is, which choice will you make?

In the race of life, we are the ones who will ultimately determine whether or not we will succeed and finish the race. How will you finish? What are you running for? Maybe you’re running from God. Turn around and run to Him. He’s right there waiting for you. God has promised you victory, no matter what you’re going through.

"In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) That is His promise to you. The question is, what choice will you make?


What is the goal?

So... after starting down the road of youth ministry at our church, I am forced to ponder the question, "what is the goal? What is our purpose?" No, I'm not trying to build another purpose-driven ministry (for those of you who are wondering... I know you're out there!), and no, I'm not going to spend the next forty days of my life trying to find my purpose. I know what it is, but I also never thought that ministry would be such a battle. Pray for me, and pray for the kids. Am I really wrong in thinking that what these kids need is exposure to the Gospel? Am I really wrong in thinking that God is the only one who can turn the hearts of these kids? How much guidance do I need to give, if any? Ugh.

Special thanks to Jeff Wetherell who helped remind me of the real purposes of Bible Study. I'm finding that I'm missing my personal time and study in the Scriptures, and that my study times are directed more towards building a defense for the ministry I feel God is calling me to. How can I find the balance?

I long to get my hands dirty in ministry again. To get down to a real level of seeing God's Word transform lives as it's being taught and shared. Maybe this is my wake up call. Maybe....


This is where I'll be...

Southern California Harvest '05—with Greg Laurie, Delirious, Casting Crowns, Toby Mac, Jeremy Camp, Kutless, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jars of Clay, and Crystal Lewis