Fascinated

I am continually fascinated by the connective-ness of the blogosphere. Getting comments from authors and publishing company presidents is pretty humbling. And I dig it.

Still struggling with the sermon series. (I despise that term- Do you all have suggestions for what to call a sermon series. I am tired of the word series)

Anyway, I am still processing Scripture, notes, books, and sermons I have researched for the message tomorrow. Borrowing a term from Josh Harris‘ book, Live Locally, Think Globally. One of the discoveries I made was a John Piper sermon. He states:

    We are coming out of an era in American church life in which it has been possible for evangelical Christians to give a tithe to the church and then devote themselves financially to building the good life and all the while keep a clear conscience. It was an era in which for conservative evangelicals ethics meant primarily the avoidance of certain sins rather than the pursuit of good deeds. It was an era in which well-fed, well-clothed, well-housed, well-entertained evangelicals were able to maintain a distance and a communications blackout between themselves and the misery and destitution of our cities and many third world countries. But that era is ending. It is ending whether we want it to or not. The main reason it’s ending is that the world has shrunk and will continue to shrink through worldwide media systems and sophisticated assistance channels, until we can no longer convince ourselves with impunity that the urban masses and starving Ugandans are not our neighbors whom Jesus told us to love as much as we love ourselves (to seek the good life for others with as much zeal as we seek it for ourselves).

At first read, you think he is right. The church is coming out of that time. His statement rings true. It’s relevant to the culture today of wanting to think globally. The irony? He wrote that sermon in 1982. Maybe, the modern era of communication is showing us that more of us are on the same page than we thought. We love the Lord and want to live like Him. Piper was advocating the crisis in Africa long before Live Aid! And Christ was preaching it a little before that. Dig?

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American Idol

American Idol. Love it. Family loves it. Tuesday, game on!

Looks good for the Patriots right now. A banged up Chargers team? C’mon. Those Packers looked awful good though.

As I begin to write a support letter for Africa it becomes incredibly more real.

I am preaching a series right now that I am struggling with. Not personally, but passionately. I feel like I am missing the boat. It is based upon Josh Harris’ book, Stop Dating the Church. It is entitled Trapped Inside the God Box. The goal being to convey God’s desire for us to live spiritually beyond church attendance and He wants us to be part of a local body of believers. It’s all good, but something is missing and it has not yet been revealed to me. Pray for me in that regard, for I want to honor God in every setting and I am unsure why I am unsettled about this one.

I’ll come clean

I need to surrender some sin in my life.  And I am doing so begrudgingly. But, I need to confess. I need to be transparent. I need to admit it is ruining me. It has become an ugly obsession. I am losing sleep. I am wasting valuable time. It keeps me up at night. I obsess on it in the car. I even talk about it endlessly to no avail.  I even  took steps to curtail it I just found new ways to go back. I have no accountability in this sin. I just find guys just like me to further the damage. I even bookmarked more and more websites so I wouldn’t lose a site that satisfied me. I know I am human, I know am going to fail, but I am really losing this battle. But, there is hope around the corner. I know God can redirect my path. And by February 11th it will all be over. I can guarantee reprieve. I think. I hope. I pray. For on February 11th I will only be left with the NFL Network and Draft in April.

Miscellaneous 2007 moments and things

The book that stirred my soul and continues to motivate to reevaluate how I do ministry: Jim and Casper Go To Church by Jim Henderson and Matt Casper. The radical evangelist will be annoyed with this book. But, the open minded Christian will get an insightful look into how the ‘lost’ perceives what we do and how it is done.

The blessing of my job: After what many would consider obsessive and too methodical of a process. We hired the position I vacated at Jersey when I took on the Youth and Young Adult Director. Countless hours praying, perusing résumé’s until my eyes burned, pacing in silence as I contemplated, meeting with committee members over and over led us to Brad Durham. A man among men and worth every second it took to invite him into the Jersey journey.

Blog tool: Omea Reader. After some research I figured out the RSS thing. Now its too many subscriptions, not enough time.

Favorite Blog: I have some favorites, but I never fail to read through all of a marko post and click on his links. Simple, short, and open-minded so I have access to all kinds of ministry models. Thanks marko!
 
National Youth Worker’s Discovery: The most satisfying encounter for me at the NYWC in Atlanta was Marquis Lauglin’s presentation of Scripture from memory with ability to bring it too life at the same time. Since I am an ESV guy I had read of him because of his ESV New Testament on CD. So, I saw him live, and was able to find out by asking him that each chapter of the bible loads up as a separate track (which I was unsure of and was important to me). Very productive.

Biggest disappointment of the year: Ethan’s (my 14 year old) baseball team decided against traveling to Atlanta for the World Series and instead stayed relatively local for a similar event. They did well in it, but traveling five straight days to nowhere (Marion) Ohio, famous only for its correctional institute, was not quite the same.