Today has been good. No, that really doesn’t describe it, today has been awesome. There are some days when God just shows up and lets you know that He is in control. Today was one of those days.

We had a guest speaker scheduled for church today that was going to talk about our church’s upcoming mission trip to Nicaragua. We have been looking forward to hearing Dr Donald Gillette from Because We Care Ministires. But late last night, right before going to bed I got a phone call. Dr. Gillette was stuck in the airport in Atlanta because of a canceled flight. That meant we needed a message and that meant I was the one who probably needed to preach on short notice. That is where this blog played an important role.

I have always wanted to keep a Spiritual journal. I have tried it several times. My main problem is that I hate writing. I enjoy getting my thoughts out of my head, I just don’t like using a pen and paper. Most of the time I can’t read my writing, and I seriously don’t like to do it. So that has caused me to struggle and stop trying on several occasions. I then tried journaling electronically on my pocket pc. That worked alright for a while, but it does get old using a stylus to write. I have tried typing on my computer, but I found it hard to keep it going consistently. Until I started blogging. Blogging has taken on the role of a Spiritual Journal for me. It lets me post about books I’m reading, struggles I’m having, and things that I am learning. So when I needed to preach on something, my mind immediately turned to what I have been blogging about lately.

I was able to look at some of my posts about Missional living and form that into a sermon. Hopefully it was coherent, but it felt good to preach on something that I am passionate about. As a church, and as believers, we must get out of the mindset that Christianity is all about Sunday morning. Sunday morning is a great time to come together and worship and celebrate and be equipped. But there are 6 other days when we are living in the world, when we are coming into contact with people from all walks of life. That is when we have the greatest opportunity to share Christ and let people see the hope that we have within us.

So this morning went great, and tonight we had a great youth meeting. I love how are teens are starting to open up and share and really learn and grow. God is good. It feels like one of those times when we just have to hold on, because I know God is taking us on an incredible ride.

Check out my message here

The God Challenge

March 8, 2007 — Leave a comment

Maybe you have heard of the blasphemy challenge. I won’t give them the honor of linking to their site, but they are challenging people to post youtube videos of themselves denying the Holy Spirit. It is a misguided and sad challenge that has become very popular. It has already been featured on numerous web and tv stories. Watching some of the videos really bothered me. It bothered me that so many of the people were teens. These are people that have been burned by church and by Christians, and have completely turned their backs on God. But it also bothered me that the devil was getting all the publicity for this story.

It also bothered some guys I know here in my hometown. So they did something about it. They created a website and a “God Challenge” to allow people to post videos of what God has done in their lives. This is a brand new site, so help me spread the word about it. It’s another way to redeem technology that has been used by the world and let God use it for His Glory. Check it out.

We can’t stand by and watch any longer. The challenge has been made…our God is real…the time is now. Testify. Visit for more information.

This site has videos of real people who have struggled with real problems and have a real account of an experience with God. There are no judgments about your life. No cheap impressions of Christianity. Just normal people offering you a glimpse of their struggles and triumph through Jesus Christ.

I have been toying around with the template structure for blogger for the last several weeks. After changing to a 3 column layout, I decided to work on a custom header in Photoshop. Thanks to a post over at ChurchCommunicationsPro, I learned how to incorporate a custom header and background to the site. And using a template from Blogcrowds based on the standard minima black, I ended up with a completely new and unique look to the site. I will probably mess around with it some more, just because I enjoy learning something new. But hopefully, the look will be more consistant for a while. If you’re reading this from an email subscription or a feedreader, check out the new look at the site.

Rescued by iTunes

March 6, 2007 — Leave a comment

I am hooked. We really don’t watch too many tv shows, but all the talk about 24 finally convinced me to sit down and watch the season opener this year, and I haven’t missed since. Jack is one cool dude. I love the way the show keeps you on the edge of your seat. At the end of last week’s show, my heart was flying. Man, the tension of unresolved storylines keep you coming back. What if we incorporated more tension and edge of your seat anticipation into our sermons. I think we may underestimate the power of suspense.

But I digress, here’s the problem. I missed Monday’s show! I forget to set the dvr, which by the way is the greatest invention since sliced bread, and by the time I got home the show was over. So … iTunes to the rescue.

I am downloading the entire episode from last night on iTunes. Only $1.99 and I’m caught back up. Pretty slick. Now if I just had an AppleTV to watch it on.

The topic of the new HPV vaccine has been prominent in the news for some time. As a father, I have been watching the reports about the new medicine in order to make an informed decision for my daughter. As a youth minister, I have been watching the story unfold to see how it will affect teenagers attitudes toward sexuality. Two recent stories have really jumped out at me.

First, this story tells how an estimated 1 in 4 women between the ages of 14 to 59 is infected with the HPV virus. That is definitely a scary fact, although I haven’t researched the source of this statistic. If we are to believe this, then it should definitely wake us up to the fact of sexually transmitted diseases in our teens and young adults. As churches, we MUST teach about God’s plan for marriage and sexuality. Not using scare tactics, but really teaching truth. The scope of this problem demands our attention.

The second story broke today. My home state of Virginia is going to require the vaccine for all rising 6th graders. There will be an option to opt out, but is that a wise thing to do? As a dad, I’m concerned for my daughter and the society that she is growing up in. She is a tweener now, not a teen or pre-teen, but not an innocent child either. My responsibility as a parent means that I need to protect her and provide for her safety. I hope and pray that she will make decisions that never put her in a position to be affected by this disease, but I can’t live her life for her.

So does that mean that this vaccine should be given to all young pre-teen girls? For me, I haven’t decided, although I am probably leaning toward this being a good thing. I also think we need to be very careful about the message we give to young girls who will be taking this vaccine. It is not a cure-all for all STD’s. It only vaccinates against one strain of one disease. But it is a disease that leads to cervical cancer in a high number of females who are infected. I really am not an expert about this, so I want to continue to learn the pros & cons of this. But I do think that it is an issue that churches don’t need to ignore. Current hot topics like this are routinely dismissed by churches. Let’s look at the issue, in light of Biblical truth, and not make hasty decisions based on feelings.

What are your thoughts about this?

Solidworks posted a highlights video from the conference in New Orleans. They claim it is the world’s largest 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) Event. You can tell the last day had a Star Trek theme with an appearance by Leonard Nimoy. A little corny, but overall it was fun. I especially enjoyed the emphasis on design and technology.

The site today has been pretty crazy. I have incorporated a new 3-column template on the site. I wanted to organize the site content better, so hopefully this will give me some new options. I based the new template off of the rounders-3 at blogcrowds. Next up is a custom header.

Basketball With the Kids

February 26, 2007 — Leave a comment

We just finished up the Upward basketball season for Luke and Emma. I have really enjoyed coaching and being with the kids. Upward is a good program and it was sponsored locally by Cliffview Church here in Galax. It was a great way to introduce people to a church and teach the kids some basic beliefs about following Christ. Coaching is my one chance to act completely crazy and silly (I was coaching 1st-3rd grade) and share about my faith at the same time. I also enjoy the emphasis on teamwork, basic skills, and sportsmanship. I like the fact that we can take the emphasis off of competition and put it on being Christ-like.

And while I’m talking about basketball, I have to mention that us guys at church had our first basketball practice yesterday. We will be playing in a local church rec league. I’m just a little sore. Well actually, a whole lot sore. I have always enjoyed playing basketball and it feels great to get out and run. My lungs were burning and my legs were feeling like jelly, but it felt great. I did realize how out of shape I am. I can really relate to the chapter in Mark Driscoll’s book titled “Why am I getting meaner and fatter?” I tend to do good in the summer when I can get outside and bike and run, but I struggle keeping in shape during the winter months. That’s pretty lame considering there is a full gym right outside my office.

And one more basketball surprise. I get to coach Luke in the local rec league starting tomorrow night. It’s a league for K-2nd grade. That should be interesting. A bunch of wild and crazy boys with an attention span less than their age. It will be a good chance to model sportsmanship and character to these young men. I can’t wait.

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