I am pushing 200 pounds (208 pounds to be exact)
and it is down right time to come down
from the glorious mountain
of super size sodas and tri-weekly Del Taco runs:
Here are my options:
1. Eat right and exercise daily
2. Go on a "fast" for spiritual reasons
3. Southbeach, Atkins, low carb, phen-phen heartattack diet
4. Watch the documentary Super Size Me every night for a month
Yesterday afternoon I was considering option 3
so I cruised through Barnes and Noble
and read through some diet fad books.
Do you know that the diet book section at the Noble
takes up 2 entire rows?
Nothing caught my attention so
then I began to think through option 2.
I would like to practice option 2 on a more consistent basis,
but at this point it doesn't seem totally legit
to pursue this option until I can do it solely for spiritual discipline reasons.
Option 4 is interesting, but with a newborn in the house
still adjusting to night time hours,
I tend to fall asleep watching any movie that we put in past 6:45pm.
So sadly, I have arrived at option 1.
It is the most work, the slowest and by far the most time consuming.
But people, it is time to do it.
Who is with me?
the founding Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA.
He isn't the perfect leader and I don't agree with everything
he says but he loves Jesus and is a gifted Bible teacher.
I podcast and listen to his sermons every week.
I am so inspired to follow Jesus after I listen to him preach.
So it was with much excitement that I opened my Facebook account yesterday
and saw this:
Mark Driscoll has accepted your friend request.8:10am
Calvary through the Old Testament book of Ezekiel on Sunday mornings.
I loved it. The book of Ezekiel absolutely rocked me
as I saw God's grace revealed like never before.
This semester me and the high school staff wanted
to take the students through a completely different style
of book than Ezekiel, so we selected the New Testament book
3 Weeks ago I taught on James Chapter 1, verses 2-4.
The big idea of the passage seems to be,
Trials in Life + Perservering in your Faith in Jesus = Spiritual Growth
This passage was a diffucult one to give to high school students
and I really wrestled with the verses the week I taught on it.
But here is the weird/interesting thing,
3 weeks later the passage keeps coming to my mind.
I must have thought about it a dozen times over the last 2 days.
I wonder what God is preparing me for?
Here is the passage for you to read for yourself:
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(this box found a few years ago is thought by some to have contained the bones of James, the author of the New Testament book, James)
Here is the update as of January 23rd:
Everything is back to normal
but is it just me or has that bald spot on top begin to enlarge ?
But for my friends Randy and Susan, today was huge as they found
out this morning if the courts in Ethiopia would approve their international
Today may be just an regular day for you
but for my friend Joan, this is one of the first Tuesdays alone
since her husband passed away of cancer.
Today is just a normal day for many
but for my friends Kevin and Rachel
today was huge as they prayed that the
invitro fertilization procedure from yesterday
would be sucessful.
It is interesting to think
that on the most significant days
of our lives,
others around us live in the ordinary.
I pray that as a follower of Jesus,
I will be compassionate and sensitive
to those around me who are living significant
moments in the midst of my ordinary day.
but it is so true,
the North American church
could learn alot from Starbucks
about how to treat people.
Michael's Gates Gill's story of life transformation is
th subject of a new Tom Hanks movie coming out soon.
His name keeps coming up in so many
of the theological nerd conversations
I have with friends.
He taught at Oxford and Cambridge
much like CS Lewis did.
In fact many people compare
him to Lewis because of the English connection
and Wright's outstanding writing abilities.
NT Wright is currently the Bishop of Durham
and one of the most respected New Testament scholars around.
My goal for 2008 is to read as many NT Wright
books as I can get my hands on. (He has written 30 books).
Here is a website where you can download
tons of NT Wright articles for free.
Theological Nerd Disclaimer: One of my heroes John Piper says Wright is shaky on his theology of justification by faith alone. Read Piper's comments here
church in Atlanta suggested a great/weird/funny/strange website to check out:
It is called FOUND....click here to go there.
It is a site where people send it photos of other people's stuff
they find in their daily lives.
Here is the site's tagline:
We collect FOUND stuff: love letters, birthday cards, kids' homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, telephone bills, doodles - anything that gives a glimpse into someone else's life.
Our culture is living in such an interesting era, where looking into someone else's life, even if they are a stranger, is far more interesting than looking into our own. I wonder what future sociologist's will say about our current culture of Facebook, reality TV and celebrity public meltdowns.
We are next to the Interstate 5 freeway
which basically divides our suburbs from our inner city.
So to use a metaphor to describe another metaphor,
we "walk the line" dividing our city.
Here is a photo of the area.
I love our location.
We have the strategic opportunity
to attract a very diverse group of people.
We are just minutes
from the suburbs and the middle class population,
a short drive from the multi-million dollar estates of the hills
and only blocks away from the poorest neighborhoods in all
We as a church have such a rare opportunity
to be a "city on a hill" that shines the light of Jesus Christ
into all types of neighborhoods and peoples.
This unique opportunity does have its challenges however,
Tonight, after our high school gathering,
I had an intense conversation with an inner city high school student,
who is struggling with wanting to take revenge against a gang member
who killed his friend over Christmas break.
While we were talking, another high school student (a kid from the suburbs)
oblivious to our conversation, walked up and interupted
us to ask me if I knew the "cheat codes" to the
PS3 video game, Halo 3.
Such different worlds these 2 students live in!
Both 16 years old,
both followers of Jesus,
both members of our high school group,
one contemplating gang warfare,
the other comtemplating video game strategies.
I love being a Pastor.
"From what are people being saved?
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
The Bible, Romans 10:9
Not from visible warfare or barbarians but something
far greater: from their own sins, a work that had never
been possible to anyone before."
-John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew, 4.7
I told the Students of our High School Ministry
that I would be taking a new position in our church
at the end of this school year (June '08).
I was really nervous to make the announcement.
I feel so close to the students of our group
and I love being their Pastor.
I have been working in the high school ministry
at Calvary Church for nine years now and
do you know what?
I have loved youth ministry more than
ever this past year.
So that was the bitter part about my annoucement.
The sweet part is this:
I am so excited for the challenge of what the church leadership
and ultimately the Lord is calling me to do.
I have been given the task of starting a community outreach ministry
for Calvary Church and will have the title of Community Outreach Pastor.
I am so pumped to launch this new ministry and new season of our church.
Along with my role as the Community Outreach Pastor, I will shepherd
the weekly Young Adults gathering of our church.
I feel like God has uniquely wired me to thrive in these new roles,
but I must admit, I feel "rookie butterflies" about starting all over again.
Please pray for me Blog-friends,
as I prepare for new roles of ministry and finish well
in youth ministry.
1. How long can I keep my outdoor Christmas lights on, before it is considered white trash?
2. We received a letter today from a prison inmate, which was mistakenly delivered to our address. Should I take the prison address on the outside of the envelope and write this inmate and tell him about who Jesus is to me, or should I simply return it to sender and not take any risks?
3. Should I put down a $100 non-refundable deposit to reserve spot for the September Disneyland half-marathon now as motivation to start running again or should I just start to run and wait to pay the non-refundable fee until I am in shape?
4. I have an arranged 1 unit course next semester at Talbot Seminary where I need to write 2 theology papers on any topic I select. What topics in theology should I pick?