Friday, September 30, 2005

On Monday I turn 34. I am well and truly about to enter into my MID thirties. When my parents were this age I was 11 and in fifth grade. Wierd.

On another note we (Vicki) is pregnant. If you think of it - please pray for a healthy complete pregnancy. We have had two miscarriages since we've started this journey of having kids and we are always cautiously optimistic. So - any ideas for names? We have a girl's name picked out, but we are looking for a boy name. I have my ideas, but they are not well liked by the wider social order of my life. So - what do you think?

I debated on whether to tell you blog readers this information, because things might not go the distance, but I guess I'd rather have you know and pray. Thanks - that would be such a gift to our family.

Speaking again this week about prayer and giving some basic ways and ideas on how to pray. Equipping stuff...

Had a great time with other pastors yesterday at a prayer retreat. Prayed together, sang, talked... we desire to be unified together and to support each other. It was great to see the church bigger than just our own local contexts and issues.

Another common theme was that everyone in their churches has felt discouraged in the past year and usually because of no more than ten people who are negative and stirring the pot against the pastor. Do we really give power to the negative minority over our lives? Sure thing... What wheel gets the oil? But, we need to lead from our God given calling and not reacting to the chirps of others. (yes I know we should learn and not make people into villians - but we also shouldn't make them into experts.)

So - what is it that I am uniquely called to do?

Any boy name ideas?

PS - how about BIG DOG Deur? :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Had a great time with the Yates from Auckland, NZ. Great time of refreshment and encouragement for us and hopefully for them. I love all things international. I was always the kid making friends with the exchange student. I was always the guy making the outsider feel comfortable. I loved living in Australia. I loved going to New Zealand. The world is BIG and it is fun to see the BIG picture when we step out of our slice of life.

Anyways - I realized again that I need to make international connects for my soul.

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire has been great. The level of prayer in my own life has been impacted and we are hearing great stories from groups and people. Thanks be to God.

We are now Podcasting messages. Search under: Watermark Podcast in the itunes directory.

Late -

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Went to Chicago yesterday with the Yates to show them around the big city life of America.

Stopped in at Willow Creek to show them the big church life of America.

Ate at Giordanos to let them experience the big eating life of America.

Drove them in my mini-van to give them the big family man travel of America.

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of pizza,

ps -> INXS is dead to me. JD is a Hutchence wanna be. I live in the past with their amazing songs and I choose to blot out their future. So let it be let it be done.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Mike and Michelle Yates from Auckland New Zealand are here. We have a partnership with their church, Shore Grace, and we are looking forward to seeing that partnership deepen and develop. Should be a fun week with them. It would be great to see the flying kiwi as well, but alas he is "called" to some chump religious work in Auckland. :) miss ya kiwi and family.

Anyways - we have started our "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" conversation series. I shared today about prayer of rebellion against the way things are. We need to clean up some loose ends for the gatherings, but otherwise things are going smoothly. I just am realizing more and more that I do not know most of the people who are apart of Watermark. New faces. Times they are a changing...but keep the core! Keep the values!

The Lions got utterly destroyed today. AHHHHHH! I hate the Lions - how they wooo you into believing that this could be the year - only to squash it like a grape. Joey bites. The defense is limp. The offensive line is a dotted line. (har har) Thompson - help!

Hope for another day.

Good bye and remember to wish my wife a happy belated birthday,

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

"Prayer cannot truly be taught by principles and seminars and symposiums. It has to be born out of a whole environment of felt need. If I say, 'I ought to pray,' I will soon run out of motivation and quit; the flesh is too strong. I have to be driven to pray."

Jim Cymbala from "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire."

As a church we need to have more than 'need.' We need desperation. We need dependence. We must be driven.

If I pray and ask for these things - will I receive them through experiences that scare and shake me from my middle class stupor?

God give me courage to even pray.

This past week's gathering was a lot of fun and was a great kick off for the elements of our life together, but I still find myself thinking about the prior week's gathering and the message of involvement in our local community. LOVE INC and other great local ministries shared and we took time to chat about Hurrican Katrina. I want to be involved with Jesus' work and plans around me.

Later sucka,


Friday, September 09, 2005

Speaking at a young adult retreat in Allegan for Kentwood Community Church. Looking forward to it, but can't believe I'm doing it before our big launch kick off Sunday. Not the smartest move, but it should be a recharge in its own way.

Please take a second to pray that God would speak through me and energize me and give me clarity of thought and that the message would find a home within people. Speaking about Sharing our lives and our faith.

If you aren't the praying type then just say - good luck sucker! :)

Gotta jet. Autumn is doing great in school and I am looking forward to the fall season of ministry, but not the weather. I usually love the fall season (hence naming my daughter after it) but this year I need to have summer around longer!!!!!

Rock star INXS update and opinion:
TY - Glad they wiped that stupid grin off his face and made him cry (he always looks like he is going to.) The speach at the end had me mystified. (get it? INXS song?)

JORDIS - an early favorite who imploded. Kept being called, "baby girl and baby and honey" by Navaro - she started to live like it. Sorry and see you in solo career land.

MIG - take steriods or get angry. You are too nice and talented. A perfect fit - even and aussie - but toughen up - get on the clear. Barry Bonds has some left over.

MARTY - my favorite in the competition. Keep talking about taking INXS to the future, but don't forget their amazing past and stop trying to be Trent Reznor - you can't pull it off Mr. Scratchy voice. Be you and do it.

JD - I hope he loses. By far the best to fit INXS in vocal style of the past. I almost think he gets on Ouiji boards to chat with Michael Hutchence to figure out how to be like him... maybe he is channeling Paula Yates too? (aussies and british might pick that up.) If he wins I will never listen to another new INXS song. Staying in the past.

SUZIE - Poser. Amazing voice - with a try hard persona. Poser. Poser. Poser. Wrong thing for her - she is not fooling anybody with her style. I keep waiting for her to jump in a mini van and run her kid to ASSO soccer tourneys.

BRETT JONES- the flying kiwi has my vote. He is from the southern hemisphere and can bring a little split enz and crowded house background to the band. maybe even some helicopter hair.... :)

Sorry to waste so much time on pointless cultural garbage - but hey - there it is! :)

Joey Harrington should go by "Joe" and dump the piano.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Some guys from Watermark headed down to Mississippi to help with hurricane relief through "World Hope."

You can keep updated on what is going on through their blog: "His Hands and Feet."
His Hands and Feet

Pray, give, go - to help others live.