Archive for November, 2005

If it’s the end…

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

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Thanks Dat.

Snoopy on Theology

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

Theology_2

A quiet place…

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

66289650_d4a2bc11bf_oReading: Luke 5

There seems to be a theme to the picture that Luke is painting in Luke 5. The crowds are pressing to draw closer to Jesus. Jesus, on the other hand is frequently trying to withdraw from the crowds so that he can draw closer to the Father.

"As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer."

This time of year is the homestretch for me. It has been for the last 8 years of my life because of school. Finals season is right around the corner. My last papers and projects are due this week. (2 by Friday) Christmas shopping needs to get done. Breakaway is wrapping up. We have our final Christmas dinner, and I have several other gatherings I am expected to attend as we all do. I don’t bring this all up to make myself look busy. If there is one thing that genuinely annoys my wife it is when people try to tell you everything they have to get done just to let you know how busy they are. Her internal response to that conversation is always the same, "if you’ve got so much to do, stop talking to me and get to work." It’s one of the things I love about her. So I don’t share my list for that purpose. If you’re reading this, I know your list is certainly as long if not longer than mine.

What hits me dead on this morning as I reflect on this picture of Jesus and his character is that when I feel overwhelmed, as he certainly did by the crowds and the constant cries for healing, I don’t run to the hills to pray and be still… I don’t have that tug that says, "as often as possible… find an out-of-the-way place to pray." And I know that my own unhealthiness and brokenness flows from that one missing component in my life. I am to quick to believe that I can handle it all by myself without asking for any earthly or divine help.

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I love my job!

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

We had a really wonderful night of Breakaway tonight. Johnny brought our message tonight and used the new "Rhythm" nooma video. He really did an excellent job. We also made the leap and transformed our seating arrangement. (Rephrase: Johnny made the leap and transformed our seating arrangement.) I don’t know why, but it really changed the whole atmosphere in the room and created a wonderful sense of energy and anticipation. As I sat with the students, I thought to myself, "they’re really getting it."

I always love the first Sunday back from National Youth Workers convention mainly because I am so excited to see the students after taking a week off, but I think this year delivered an extra bit of encouragement to me. Returning to Mansfield and Breakaway tonight didn’t feel like going back to work or clocking in at my new job. I really felt like I was coming home to my students, and that felt so good. When I came to Mansfield in February I was really surprised at how much I geniunely hurt and missed my students from Cleburne. I never imagined that I would feel so strong a connection to these kids here so fast…

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Field Goal Kickers

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

On Thursday I was feeling pretty lousy about how the Cowboys lost their Thanksgiving game.

Thursday’s thought: "We need a real field goal kicker!"

Hmmm…

A real field goal kicker like Nate Kaeding from San Diego who missed two field goals today.

A real field goal kicker like Jay Feely from the Giants who missed THREE game winning field goals today.

A real field goal kicker like Matt Bryant from Tampa Bay who shanked a chip shot that would have tied the game today.

A real field goal kicker like 2nd round draft choice (2nd round!), Mike Nugent from the Jets who missed the game winning field goal by a foot today.

A real field goal kicker like Neal Rackers, my money man, my fantasy football kicker, who missed his first field goal of the year today!

Today’s thought: "I hate field goal kickers!"

Saturday

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

Saturday morning at the Alexander house… I have spent the last two days doing a ton of work on our student ministry websites. Check them out here and here. I really love web design so much so that when I come to a stopping point, I get restless because I want to do more. So if you get a chance to check out the sites, let me know what you think. I don’t mind tweaking.

We’re about to head to Toys R Us. I know, we’re crazy, but with a soon to be two year old, we have a few items that we need to buy there for Christmas. I just saw a clip on the news about a stampede at a local Walmart that left several people injured. I hope we survive.

No big deal…

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

Commitment ain’t what it used to be…

Lachey and Simpson officially separating
Alias canceled
TO is officially shut down

National Youth Workers Convention

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

61172360_cdc01f67d1_o_1This is definitely not the best way to log thoughts especially in the blogging format. I have been home from the convention for three days already, but I did add my name to the bloggers role for the convention, so I thought I should share some thoughts from this year’s convention. As I said earlier, I was without my friend wi-fi for the week so this is the best I can do. As for those who feel like taking a break from blogging is "healing and healthy" all I can say is that it was horrible. Nothing spiritually uplifting about it for me… About the convention….

This year’s convention was by far the best I have had the chance to attend over the past 6 years. Because of the size of the crowd, we were actually in the Gaylord Entertainment Center (Arena) as opposed to a really large convention center hall. I really enjoyed being in the arena because no matter what seat you had in the house, you still had the ability to be engaged by the worship leader, artists, and speakers. Every speaker this year was really fantastic. I loved hearing Mark Yaconelli. I had the chance to speak to him after his general session. I told him I could hear his Dad when he got really excited in his message. (He sounds just like him!) It was moving to hear Mike among us still through the words and life of his son. As Marko said on his blog, there were no duds, although Nasser seemed to rub a lot of people the wrong way with some really shocking humor. It had a point, but it was probably taken to far. If you were there, you know what I am talking about.

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Lauren’s Service

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

Lauren’s funeral service was beautiful. I didn’t realize how much different a
family responds when a disabled child passes away. For my aunt and
uncle, who had seen their daughter go through such tremendous physical
challenge, it was a blessing to know that Lauren’s physical limitations
had passed and her new life had begun. Both of them shared words at the
funeral, and it was truly a celebration of Lauren’s life. My uncle shared some really funny stories and shared his genuine joy that his daughter was now dancing with Jesus. I think both of them will grieve more than they think in the coming months than they expect, but their faith was so evident during the visitation and her memorial service.  I am so glad
I was able to be there. I also had a ton of fun with my own family on
the way up and back. My other cousin, Clint, is a worship leader in Wisconsin, and he shared with us a song he had written for Lauren. Here it is…

Lauren Elizabeth Alexander 
May 18, 1981
I know a girl who cannot stand and brokenness her thorn.
She hasn’t jumped or danced or run not even once since she was born
but in my dreams I’ve seen her smile in a place I cannot see
and Jesus sands up from his throne,
and He says "run my child to me"
and arm in arm they jump around and tears roll down her face,
and she’s amazed and leaps in awe at this Physicians perfect grace.
Only a moments time has gone since her body’s been set free
but now she understands His plan,
and she gets back down on her knees.
November 12 – Eternity

42 hours later…

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

65837750_41857598b5_oThe roadtrip to end all roadtrips has come to an end. 42 hours was the grand total. Most of the week I was disconnected from the internet which explains why I haven’t shared anything here. I had really hoped to avoid that… I wanted to blog during the conference on several occasions, but unfortunately, we have not advanced to world-wide wi-fi. So my thoughts won’t be fresh, but I do want to share some stuff from the past week. I will do so in the next couple of posts.