Archive for September, 2007

World Trade Center

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I’m a little tired today because I stayed up late last night watching Oliver Stone’s, World Trade Center. I actually started watching the movie a few weeks ago, and never finished it. As you can imagine, it’s quite an intense film. I’ve now watched both of the first movies made about the 9/11 terrorist attack. About a month ago, on my day off, I watched United 93. When I heard about each of these films, I must admit that I was quite skeptical about their release. First, I felt like it might trivialize those terrible tragedies. Second, I was worried that they would be received as “political statements” that might polarize audiences. Just as an aside, I don’t mind films that make “political statements” but I really didn’t feel like that would be appropriate given the subject matter.

What I can say is that both films overwhelmed my expectations and to the best of the medium’s ability, captured the horrific moments surrounding September 11th. At the same time, they portrayed in a way that I did not think was possible, the excellence of humanity that was displaced in the midst of those tragedies. So, if you’ve been thinking about seeing the films, I’d strongly recommend both of them. They are not easy to watch. They will take you back to moments that you would probably rather forget, but they are a wonderful reminder of what we value the most; family, friends, and the life we share with them.

How do you see the church?

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

I ran across this quote from Rob Bell who was recently asked what it was like to be a part of one the “hottest” churches in America. Here is Rob’s reply.

I don’t even know what that means. I know there’s a woman in the second row in the second service that has cancer for the third time. I know there’s a single mom named Erin who needs a place to live. I know this guy who just got custody of his kids and he’s trying to figure out how to be a single dad. So to me a Church is real people trying to figure it out.

Rob’s sentiment here reminds me of a message that our Senior Pastor shared a few weeks ago with our staff and entire congregation. In it, he shared with the congregation the way he sees the church. He talked about people fighting cancer, families struggling with divorce, individuals struggling with addictions… You get the idea. I thought it was a powerful reminder to our church that our pews are filled with “real people trying to figure it out.”

Busy week…

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Our church leadership team is about to head out for a retreat with the Consultant who has been working with us for about three months. It should be a pretty fruitful trip. He will be sharing with us three months worth of data collection which I am looking forward to seeing. I’m preaching all our weekend services this week, have a paper due on Friday, an appointment with my Independent study professor on Thursday, and a meeting with one of my teams for school on Thursday night. The recurring theme pops up again: I’m so ready to be done with school!

Simply beautiful

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Nfl Shield Mark 72Dpi-1

Feeling pretty good about my Joseph Addai pick as well.

Thank you NFL. Life is beautiful again.

Get your tickets

Thursday, September 6th, 2007


Last night I bought our tickets to see Rob Bell at Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie, mid-November. There seem to be great seats still available. We pulled down 4 up close. Click here for more info. on this year’s tour.

Proceeds benefit Turame microfinance project.

A great story…

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

I shared this video during my sermon this past weekend. Since I was preaching Sunday morning as well, I got to watch the video four times. Still amazing. If you’re interested in the sermon, check out our Saturday Night Podcast.

Holy Moments

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Yesterday I officiated at my third funeral. I’ve had the opportunity to preach several hundred times in my six years of ministry, but I’ve not done that many funerals. The task intimidates me more than most of the things I do in my job. You certainly want to make sure you get everyone’s name right. You want to appropriately represent the life of the person who has passed away, and of course, you want to express a word of hope and grace to the family and friends who have gathered to honor the life of the deceased. It’s not an easy task.

I guess I shouldn’t say I enjoy doing funerals… but I did realize yesterday what an incredible honor it is to fill that role for a family. It’s an honor to speak to someone’s life. It’s an honor to be invited into the grief and sadness of a family. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to speak words of grace and hope into that place of brokenness and loss. It’s a tender moment. It’s a holy moment, and I do feel honored to participate in it.

What was most evident to me yesterday was how important funerals are to the life and ministry of the church. Maybe it is because I now have a more clearly defined “pastoral” role in the church, but I felt a wonderful sense of affirmation yesterday as I was leaving the graveside that what I had just done was extremely important to the church of Jesus Christ. That was a holy moment for me as well.

Children’s Time

Saturday, September 1st, 2007


I’m not sure I’m very good at it, but sharing a few moments with children during our Saturday night service is something I’m starting to enjoy.

I’m the one in the middle of the sea of kids in the picture above.