Friday, December 17, 2010

Quitting Facebook Saved My Sanity

Wow, I can't believe I haven't blogged for over 3 months. But honestly I'm glad I haven't. You see, about three months ago I decided to take a two week break from twitter, facebook, and blogging to clear my mind and focus on life. Well, that 2 weeks turned into a month, which turned into a little over 3 months. And trust me, it's been one of the best things I've done in a long time. But let me start from the beginning...
Last April, after a lot of prayer, Chrissy and I felt led to move from my position at a church in Virginia and move to Kansas ,where I grew up. We had everything set. I was going to work for one of my favorite youth ministry organizations, Youthfront, and we were going to spend a lot more time with my family. On our way to Kansas, we decided to take a few weeks and take the family to Florida. (not quite on the way, but well worth the surf time) While this was supposed to be a simple relaxing vacation getaway, I soon realized God didn't want me to relax to much. The whole week, while sitting on the beach, all I could think about was how much I felt like God was telling me my time in local church youth ministry was not done. What the what?! Are you serious God? I mean I just left a ministry where I loved the students and leaders to go into non-church ministry! I've been raising funds for my new ministry for over 2 months! I'm moving my family half way across the country! Seriously?!
After sharing my thoughts with my wife we decided it was something we needed to seriously commit to prayer. But not the kind of prayer where you do all the talking, but where you try and clear your mind and listen to what God wants to tell you. This is where my addiction to social media began to become evident. I noticed that I was twittering a couple times a day, checking other's tweets around 5-6 times a day, checking facebook on my phone around 6-8 times a day, and constanly thinking about what to blog next. So, I decided to quit cold turkey. If I was truly going to hear the direction God wanted me to go in I needed to get rid of all the distractions. The first couple days was tough. I had to delete the facebook app on my iphone, my twitter apps as well. But once I got in the groove of not committing so much thought and time towards all of it, I noticed I felt so much more peaceful. No longer did I wander if people had commented on my status updates, or if someone had tagged me in a new photo, or whether or not I had added more twitter followers. I was free.
The extra clarity helped me see that God was confirming the fact that He wanted me to be serving in a church. So I started interviewing for positions. First in Michigan, then flying to Pennsylvania, but something just wasn't right. Then it hit me! Our move wasn't so much about what I was going to but where we were going to. He wanted me to serve in Kansas City. But where? There weren't any open positions like there were elsewhere. So as I waited for God to tell me where, I actually got a job with 7up delivering soda. Yep, I was the 7up guy. Making little money, working long hard hours and praying for God's direction. Finally in October He showed me why we moved here. My friend at youthfront, where I originally moved to Kansas to work with, texted me to tell me his church was getting ready to start a search for a new youth pastor. So, with no expectations, I said I would meet with the pastor. Well, 2 months later and I am typing this from my new office at Olathe Bible Church as the High School Pastor. Exactly where God had planned for us the whole time.
P.S.- Yes, I'm back to using facebook , twitter, and bloggnig. Just more like every other day, not every other minute.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Ok, You Need To See This!

Below is a link to an awesome message given by Matt Chandler at the SBC Pastor's Conference. I had to watch it twice just to try and get all of it to sink in and still think I could watch it again to get more. It deals with the Gospel and it's importance. If you're in ministry (or even if your not) you need to click on the link and check it out! ( I would post the video, but due to copyright rules you need to watch it on Matt's blog) Enjoy!

Matt Chandler's Message at the SBC Pastor's Conference

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Please Wait Here...

If there is anything in the world I hate (besides sad endings to movies and mustard) it would be waiting. I mean whether it is in line at the grocery store to buy my box of corn pops, in the doctor's office to be seen for allergies, or in line at an amusement park to ride the new roller coaster that goes upside down 10 times while going backwards. I hate waiting. I will even go to extreme measures to not wait. I will strategically pick the shortest/fastest check out lane as if it's a game to see if I can get out quicker than someone else walking up to the lines at the same time. Or I will drive 10 miles of side roads to bypass the 1 mile of waiting traffic that is backed up due to road construction. Well, I think God has taken note of the lack of patience in my life. Lately it seems like everything in my life has come to a major slowdown, as if God wants me to get off the fast moving train I've been riding and take a deep look around at what he is planning and ultimately look within myself. It's like God is showing me that within this immediate need to know exactly what is next in my life and exactly what I'm going to be doing, I have been losing the beauty and powerfulness of having a faith in a God that is scripting a great story for me. Waiting, while frustrating to control freaks, has an inherent beauty that forces us to look around at the process. So while I would love to have some answers to some big questions and recent prayer requests, I wait, because God is cooking something up for me and I need to stop to enjoy the smell of it baking. But that doesn't mean I'm not ready at any moment to take a taste of his sweet plan.

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God"

- Corrie Ten Boom

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Doing The Impossible

Saw this over at McNair Wilson's blog. (Highly recommended blog as a great source for creativity!)

"Difficult takes a while. Impossible takes a little longer."
~ Walt Disney

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Worship Of The Future?

There's an app for everything...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Personality Influences On Theology

I've always found that people that subscribe to certain theological views usually have a similar personality type as others that subscribe to that same theological view (for instance being more confrontational vs. laid back). I've always thought that the personality trait was a result of believing those certain views. However, I was reading Donald Miller's blog today about how your personality may persuade how you believe, and it got me thinking that maybe I had it backwards. Anyway, it's a great blog and thought I would share it with you. Click here to read it.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

"Resurrection" By Rob Bell

My favorite line- "Jesus’ friends arrive at his tomb and they’re told
he isn’t here... you didn’t see that coming, did you?"

Resurrection: Rob Bell from The Work of Rob Bell on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Missional Church... Simple

Saw this video on Josh Griffin's blog and thought I would share it with you. I like it.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

6 Must Haves as a Leader Right Now

1. Leaders must have courage- the ability to risk and actually make a decision and do something. Quick to action.

2. Leaders must have conviction- a strong and compelling vision, and passion to pursue it.

3. Leaders must have a clear calling- understand how God has wired you.

4. Leaders must have authenticity- honest, humble and sincere. Willing to sacrifice. Willing to protect their teammates and take the fall.

5. Leaders must be willing to learn- leaders are readers. and have an insatiable desire to know more.

6. Leaders must be in touch with reality- ability to understand the context of our day. Plan for the future while leading in the present. Informed enough to make the tough decision.

(ht: catalyst)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Priority Check

Ever feel like you go through life with your head down in your daily routine, working yourself to death and finding yourself looking around and wandering why time flies so fast? Yep, me too. But last month I got a quick priority check. I received a call from my sister that my dad was on his way to the hospital with a possible heart attack. After a very long hour of waiting to hear what the diagnosis was, I found out it wasn't a heart attack but a serious heart problem that required immediate emergency surgery. Now I had a choice, I could either get on a plane as soon as I could and travel 1200 miles to be with him, or I could say I'm too busy with stuff at work and in my ministry and dealing with problems to afford the time away. I know what your thinking, "How stupid! That's a no-brainer! Go be with your dad!". But honestly alot of us make that wrong choice every day when we get our priorities mixed up and put other things in front of our family. The nights when I decide to work just a little more on my laptop at home instead of asking my daughters to play a game. The times I decide to stay that extra hour or two at work instead of honoring the time I told my wife I would be home to eat dinner with the family. I pray God helps us all realign our priorities so that He is first, our family second, and everything else follows behind. (BTW- I hopped on a plane the next morning, spent a week with my dad and he came through surgery with flying colors. Praise God!)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dependent? Me?

Man, recently I've felt really challenged when it comes to being dependent on God. And to be honest, I don't think I've lived up to the challenge. When I think of being dependent on God and I read passages in the Bible about it, I catch myself thinking "man it must have been so much easier in Bible times to be dependent on God". I mean they didn't have iPhones and TV and Facebook and Twitter and movies and all the other stuff that vies for my attention on a daily basis. They didn't have to worry about 401k's or getting the kids to dance practice on time or whether this was the week that their car decides to break down or not. But is this a valid excuse? No. You know why? Because they had a sin nature just as much as I do and when it comes down to it, it's hard for anybody to be 100% dependent on God. So, with some hard decisions I have to make in the near future concerning our ministry as well as trying to get rid of this nasty cold before I leave for Nicaragua 2 weeks, I am laying it all down before God. I pray I stop trying to do everything myself and let God take the driver's seat. Time to buckle up!