Friday, July 29, 2005

About to head up north for vacation. Traverse City area. Good times, great timing, epic family, fond memories and a huge side of beef from "Boones" Steakhouse.

Giddy up.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I am sitting in Panera Bread in Alpine.
I have finished day two of my study/prep time in a cabin overlooking the Muskegon River.
Here is the stuff I wanted to get done in four full days:
> Write two messages for August. (I am almost done with one and I will not get the second done.)
> Write Rapids One experience (aka: class). I hope to work on this, but it is doubtful that now will be the time.
> Read "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" for fall preparation. (Two more chapters to go.)
(Thinking about using this book for our fall series and have everyone read it together.)
> Read "Hearing God" by Dallas Willard for fall series prep. (Still have to get to it. This will be a priority.)
> Organize and layout my messages for a young adult retreat in September. (I will need to take time for this.)
> Read, "The Contemplative Pastor" (got done with one chapter and like it alot... won't get done with much more.)

ETC.... ETC.... there really is more!

In other words I came with over a hundred hours of work to do and will get done with only half of it in four days...
I MUST TAKE MORE TIME TO LISTEN AND PRAY. The soul needs food... and campbells soup is good food.

Great time with my dad.
Missing my wife and kids.
Be back on Friday.
Thanks for the Mexican votes.

War of the Deurty,

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Went to a new mexican place last night (La Luna) in Grand Haven. It was disappointing for a restaurant. My wife summed it up well: "I could have made that!" :)

I am a huge fan of mexican food... So here is my challenge. Where is the best mexican food in West Michigan? Also rate them if you have a few. 10 being outstanding and 1 being poo poo.

For example. In this area I would say that Prueblo is great with an eight rating. Atmosphere is good. Endless chips and salsa. Good guac. Big portions. Healthy and light tasting. BUT not authentic and not Tex Mex style if you are into that.

What do you think?

Time for my lunch appointment...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

is built

is built

there is a difference between reality and truth.


Monday, July 18, 2005

Well I finished the book! It was a great read and especially helpful for those of us who are pastors. I like to call it, "Wild at Heart for Pastors." But I never finished, "Wild at Heart," because I was out beating my chest and saving my wife from fire breathing dragons. Anyways, I was challenged and now I have to re-read the good bits and figure out how to put it into action. What if I did not read a new book until I thoroughly captured what God wanted me to grab and actualll practice living it out first....?

Here are some good bits that made me think... they are set in a wider context that gives it more punch, but here are some lines:

"Necessary pastors manage people, putting them in boxes and groups by age, gender, ethnicity, and so on. Unnecessary pastors engender communities in which they themselves participate."

"The deep symbol of sin is one we also often trivialize by terming it merely a mistake. Many sins we euphemize; for example, we label fornication "sleeping together," which sounds so nice and cozy. We call it "fudging on our income tax" when we cheat the government or a "little white lie" when we do violence to the truth. Since in our culture we do not name sin for the despicable sin that it is, we rarely recognize how truly dead we are."

"Forget about charisma, go for character."

"What would it be like if every single person in our pews knew that if he or she were absent the church would not be complete?"

Lots to chew on for me.

Last softball game tonight. We have not won a game yet. Hopefully that will change. :)

Life is like a box of...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

In light of my last post I found the following quote from Marva Dawn from the book: "The Unnecessary Pastor" both freeing and again challenging...

"We must always be vigilent against thinking that we can grow ourselves in faith and faith-life or that we, pastoral servants, are "necessary" to the formation of congregation members."

Guilty as charged and free as a bird.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I am a sinner. (That means I'm broken on the deepest levels for you non-religous types.) :) I'm not perfect - but you know that.

Anyways - here is one of my sins but also one of my most difficult issues for me... I feel like everything depends on me. That somehow I am responsible for everything. That somehow I have power and I am expected to carry everything and keep everything together. Now - what is this sin? It is prideful to think everything depends on me.

It plays out in wierd ways...

As a kid I would panic when my younger cousins would fight and I would assume responsibility for them and fear getting in trouble for not being a better rolemodel or influencing the kids better...

I always felt responsible for my friends and their actions... be the role model...

As a pastor - I would accept other people's problems, their dissappointments, their frustrations all personally like it all hinges on me.

BUT - I have proof that it all depends on me (aka: I am a god) During the Detroit Pistons Finals series with the Spurs I often would shoot hoops in my front yard before the game. I started to hit a bunch of free throws and told myself that I hd to hit eight out of ten free throws for the Pistons to win. I did not do it for games one and two and the results were losses for the Pistons. I hit 8 of ten for games 3-4 in which the Pistons won. I didn't do it for the next Pistons loss, but did make 8 of 10 for their game six win. For game 7 we were in a hurry to leave out of town and I realized I needed to hit my free throws before leaving... so while the kids were getting loaded into the mini-van I was frantically trying to make 8 of 10... Finally after Vicki's third pleading with me to go and give up my stupid free throws I stopped at hitting only 7 of 10. I got in the car and said - "it doesn't depend on me... silly." That night the Pistons lost.

So - I guess I have a bit of OCD in me - always have had a bit... :) I guess I also have a bit of "god" complex. I envy the people who can just say their peace - not really give a rip about what people think (I mean really - not pretend)... Anyways - this post sucks. :)

I find myself being put in my place more and more and praying to have pride burned out.

But, it doesn't hurt to work on your free throws...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

we have been planning like mad people as we gear up for the upcoming ministry season.

church stuff happens in waves for us pastor types... it rotates around the school season for the most part.

so we are laying out conversation series for the year ahead...

so... what do you think should be discussed, taught and looked at over the next year? just curious. :) be good.

one series we are looking at and that i am excited about is "the wussification of Jesus." this will be a time to re-examine Jesus and His movement and understand what it means to follow Him.

heaven isn't too far away... - warrant

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I am sitting next to Mike Willis. He is the man child.

See you tomorrow at the Waterfront!