Archive for October, 2005

Dumb question?

Friday, October 28th, 2005

In seminary class today, while talking about the time of Jesus, someone asked, “what century are we talking about again?”

Ummm…

He is Everywhere…

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

54337064_3d96353329_oReading: Mark 5 (The next chapter of my reading is actually Luke 5, but I turned to the wrong book!)

This morning I feel really flustered. I have felt this way since returning from my study leave on Tuesday. I got a lot of great work done during my time away, but may have fried my brain with 14 sermons and a whole bunch of thoughts about our student ministries future. It’s all great stuff, but also overwhelming.

Verse 31 jumped off the page at me today. As Jesus is going to the home of the Synagogue Ruler to heal the man’s daughter, a woman who has been sufffering from a disease for 12 years reaches up and touches the robe of Jesus. Jesus, recognizing that the power has gone out of him (a little wierd), questions the crowd to see who touched him. The disciples answer in verse 31.

"You see the people crowding against you, and yet you can ask, ‘who touched me?’"

Jesus doesn’t answer the question in the passage, but our faith teaches us that the answer Jesus gives us is, "absolutely, I am at all times everywhere, and right by your side." Through the chaos of need that surrounds Jesus, he still is deeply aware of our pain, our hopes, our dreams, our great fears. He can handle the massive and the minute. He can hear all and also know all.

That changes things doesn’t it. Between our times of worship, I think we are tempted to believe that we have somehow "left" the presence of Jesus. We spend this time of "unconscious seperation" working really hard for Jesus, and when we return to worship, we do so with a smile on our face, joy in our hearts, and an attitude that says, "look Jesus, this is what I have done while you were away."

I love the depth of this story… that Jesus must walk to the home to heal the daughter (we know from other stories that really isn’t necessary. Jesus heals from a distance as well) that Jesus is interrupted while doing something really necessary… that Jesus is totally aware of all that surrounds him.

Maybe what I am getting at is the tension that exists between seeing faith as "living for Jesus," as opposed to, "living with Jesus." Living for Jesus implies that their is no life in Jesus which we know is not the case. Living with Jesus reminds me that today in my office, as I struggle to get started on this week’s sermon, sort through the mounds of paper’s on my desk while also processing the multiple layers of ideas that continue to float around in my mind… Jesus has pulled up a chair. He is here. He is everywhere.

Melting my heart…

Monday, October 24th, 2005

My mind is like soup right now. I have been on study leave (a wonderful concept by the way) and I have used up all my creativity for the day at least. I have through tomorrow to finish up my planning, but I got so much done today, my brain hurts.

I receive a great phone call today from a former student. It didn’t start out great. In fact, when I answered the phone, I thought, "oh no, he is going to want to talk to me for hours!" But he didn’t. He had a very specific purpose for the call. He asked about the family. He asked about my new job. He asked how I was doing. He told me about where he was going to college. He told me what was going on in his life, and then he said, "David, the reason I called… I’ve been meaning to call you for a while… I just wanted to tell you thank you." Then he said the words that just melted me right there in the Target parking lot, "All of my great memories from high school are being with my friends at church and you."

As most people are, I feel pretty uncomfortable when people want to compliment me or say thanks. What are you supposed to say? "I agree, I am an incredible person!" Well, no, you can’t really say that. And I’ve learned that it is equally inappropriate to downplay yourself too much when someone has a genuine desire to say thank you. But the tension is still there, and the tension is caused by your own awareness that this person really isn’t trying to thank me, they are trying to share gratitude for something powerful that has happened in their lives… And certainly, I had the privilege to be near that power, but the power came from another place.

I’ve learned that you have to cherish the "thank you’s" you receive, especially in youth ministry. They sometimes come to you few and far between. But you also have to point those emotions back to your own life and your own gratitude. When people say thank you to me, it keeps me healthy and balanced to realize that gratitude gets extended up the chain… to my parents… my teachers and mentors… my youth pastor… my wife… my God.

And so I thanked God today for the encouragement of a young kid’s heart, and the privilege to work close by His power… I thanked God for his church… for believing in me… for allowing me to serve. I thanked God that he allowed me to share, receive, and be touched by the thanksgiving that really only belongs to him. I thanked God for my tears, my joy, and the days ahead, and I remembered that a scared little kid who just wanted someone to know my name is known and loved by God. I thanked God because that kid was me.

God, help me to do for others, what you have done for me.

a question?

Friday, October 21st, 2005

How can the use of storyboarding be used in preaching? Ask Kyle about this…

Do you believe?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

I have been told that I need to believe in Jesus. Which is a good thing. But what I am learning is that Jesus believes in me.

I have told that I need to have faith in God. Which is a good thing. But what I am learning is that God has faith in me.

The rabbi thinks we can be like him.
(Velvet Elvis, 134)

Whose working with your kids?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

This morning, while surfing through some of my favorite bloggers, I came across Dan Kimball’s post entitled, "Youth ministry is SO important." His comments really got me thinking about how the church usually seeks to fill this important role. Most of the time, we throw someone really young (because for some reason we think they are the only ones who can connect with our kids). Now I started youth ministry when I was 23, so I obviously don’t think there is something inherently wrong with young youth leaders, but what concerns me is when they feel like they have nothing to learn. They have it all figured out. They don’t need any help. They don’t need any mentors. They don’t need any direction. Some of you are thinking, "David, stop describing yourself," and maybe at one time, that might have been a true statement. But I don’t think that is still true.

(more…)

I want to be whole…

Saturday, October 15th, 2005

Roumc9b

Friday night, Steph, Anna and I went to Red Oak to watch my sister’s band perform at halftime of the Red Oak/Corsicana HS football game. Since leaving Red Oak in 1992, I have only returned on a few occasions. One of the most memorable was during college when the pastor at FUMC invited me to preach one Sunday. It wasn’t my first sermon, but one I will never forget. I can’t begin to express how much it humbled me to speak to that community that had nurtured me as a child and had loved my father so much.

(more…)

A new leaf…

Friday, October 14th, 2005

Maybe it’s the classes I am taking or perhaps its just a new attitude, but seminary has dramatically changed for me this semester. I’m in class right now (I know I should be listening) and I am thinking to myself how relevant this “theoretical” discussion is to the “practical” application I use each day. I have much more to share, especially from some readings I had to do last week, but I guess I should focus a bit. I’m so grateful for change.

YES! YES! YES!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

Apple releases the new iPod!

Cool Links 1.1

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

Mosaic_goforaspin

IPOD helps Apple quadruple profits,

10 x 10: 100 words and pictures

Coach resigns. school bans pregame prayer

Bob’s funny church signs

I would like to openly apologize to both my readers for my blogging hiatus. Studying for a midterm… I have lots to share… Hopefully will get to share later in the week. Until then, be sure and check out the Breakaway & Mosaic logos photo albums I added to the page. A big shout out to Johnny for his incredible creativity!