Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Banquet - Luke 14:15-24

This past Sunday I had the great honor of preaching at TrueNorth Church. This entire summer we have had one series: Short Stories. We have basically been teaching Jesus' parables. These have been great sermons and Steve has hit a home run with everyone. So Walter had big shoes to fill. How did I do? Not going to say you can see for yourself at www.truenorthchurch (and catch up on all the TNC sermons).

I will say I personally felt good about the sermon. I pray the main point that we have all been invited to the banquet table of God and that it is by His grace we sit there came across. This week - The Lost Sheep. I have never had to bat two innings in a row! Usually I am a pinch hitter once and out - hopefully I didn't set the bar too high!

Busy Couple of weeks

Here is what is going on with Betsy and I:

Last week:
Big Stuf Camp
Preached Sunday (The Banquet - www.truenorthchurch.com)
studying for Bar Exam

This week:
Betsy takes Bar Exam (praise Jesus!) - in Atlanta Tuesday and Wednesday.
Moving Friday
Preaching Sunday (The Lost Sheep - come and see it live! The second show is completely different than the first...Don't forget to tip your waiter or waitress)
Family dinner Sunday (guest in NA)
Sunday afternoon head to Chuck Town (Charleston) for 1 year anniversary!

Post Big Stuf Blog!

Yeah! We made it back from Big Stuf. What an amazing experience for our students. For many of them this was their first experience with a "youth camp". They loved it. The beach was awesome. The speakers rocked the house. And the worship bands were unbeliveable. Plus God was all over the place. It is cool to see students just through a couple days of focus in their lives get a few steps closer to God. To know that Christ is showing up a little more in their everyday lives is truely a blessing. And for me that is what it is all about.... to see those kids growing, building a solid foundations. Some are farther along than others, but it is still neat (who says neat) to watch it build block by block.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Big Stuf Bound

Saturday at 7am we ship out for our second trip of the summer. This adventure takes us down to Panama City, FL to Big Stuf Camp. This will be my first trip to Big Stuf, but from everything I have heard in the past -this will rock your socks off. And the peeps who have already been this year said this years is the best YET!

Needless to say, our 24 students and I are pumped about spending time at the beach together and worshipping our God in an amazing atomsphere. They may have wireless - if so I will try and post to let everyone know how we are doing. If there is no internet....until next week! Pray that our students will meet with God and hear his voice.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cultural Relevant

Ian Wilson has a great article on being "Culturally Relevant." Here is a clip from it:

"Knowing pop-culture is not relevant.
Wearing "random t-shirts" is not relevant.
Smoking cigs and throwing back brewskies is not relevant.
Swearing now and then is not relevant.
Even listening to U2 is not relevant."

We at TrueNorth consider our church to be one that tries to be Culturally Relevant. But I agree with Ian in that being Culturally Relevant isn't about a look or music we listen to but a way that you look at your life. The Church for the past several decades has created a Christian sub culture to protect ourselves from the evil "secular" world. This isn't what we see Christ do, he criticizes the church of His day for separation of those who were lost. To me being Culturally Relevant is about looking at the culture we live in and sharing Christ's love, not creating a holy huddle.
Way to go Ian...that seminary degree looks to be making you a regular Christian theologian. But I do wear "random t-shirts".

Saturday, July 08, 2006

New Words for Websters

1. Bling-bling: n - flashy jewelry worn especially as an indication of wealth;
2. Unibrow: n - a single continuous brow resulting from the growing together of eyebrows
3. Himbo: n - an attractive but vacuous man (Betsy had never heard of this word)
And the most interesting word added in my option:
4. Google: v - to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web.

Five years ago who would of said that the world google would be a verb in Websters Dictonary. Betsy says I make up words all the time....maybe I should start writing them down and send em' to Webster.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Nooma Videos

If you haven't heard of NOOMA, you are probably in the majority of the world. NOOMA is a company that has been set up to produce short films (10-12 minutes) that deal with God issues. I first found out about NOOMA two years ago and fell in love with all their videos since -13. The main communicator is Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill in Grand Rapid Michigan - I thought he was the only communicator, but I heard that other communicators are soon to join Rob at Nooma.

What does Nooma mean?
The name NOOMA is an English phonetic spelling of the Greek word pneuma, which is commonly translated to “spirit” or “breath”. Pneumatology refers to the study of spiritual beings, particularly the interactions between humans and God.

Where do I find Nooma Videos?
Nooma videos can be order and watch (small clips) at www.nooma.com and they have been picked up by Zondervan and can be found at Family Christian Bookstores.

Why am I writing about Nooma?
Well - before this week my favorite noomas were "Sunday" and "Bullhorn". But my new favorite is number13- "Rich." Not so much in scenery and camera work (which is awesome in all of the brilliant short films) but the content. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME! I have watched it twice in three days. This issue has been on my heart for several months - GIVING (not so much money, but our lives...time, sweat, energy etc)
The conversation (Rob Bell and you) starts with a bummer sticker Rob saw "God Bless America" and Rob tells how God has already blessed America -
  • The USA makes up 6% of the World's Population and uses 40% of its resources
  • Only 8% of the world's population have cars
  • Over 1 billion people don't have clean drinking water
  • 800 million people will not eat today & 300 Million are kids
  • Around a billion people in the world live on a dollar a day (if we get a dr pepper for a dollar we are lucky!)
  • Experts say to give EVERYONE in the world basics of life (clean water, food, shelter and even electricity) would cost $20 Billion....that is how much Americans spend on ice cream in ONE YEAR!

How rich are we? We take clean water for granted. We take our cars for granted. We take our food for granted. We are SO RICH! Everything we have is a gift. Lets start sharing the gift. May we as children of God help take care of those who need lifted up. Not so that we feel good about our selves, but because God has called us to. Commanded us to.

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with EVERYTHING for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." 1 Timothy 6:17-19 NIV

Monday, July 03, 2006

"Moving on Up to the Eastside."

Betsy and I have started packing up our current rental home in Thomson, GA to make the move to another rental home in North Augusta, SC (this is to get us closer to the TrueNorth). In doing so - I came across this old pic of my old roomie when it snowed in South Carolina!

Loved the pic - so I posted it for all the world to see! I am sure in the next week or so you will see all sorts of random things we find packing.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Post Go Camp Post

This past week we took 24 students to Columbia, SC for our first mission trip. The camp was called "Go Camp". The idea for the camp came from Dustin Willis, Chris Barrieau and myself less than a year ago. Dustin is the pastor of Midtown Fellowship in Columbia - who sponsored the camp. Midtown set up all the sites the students worked at during the week. Dustin and the Midtown Crew did an amazing job of setting up this camp up. The Chris Brown Band lead in worship and ROCKED the house!

You see this wasn't a trip where you go work in the day and chill in the evening. Our students (and others from three other churches: trinity United Methodist, Hampton Height Baptist, and First Baptist Gray - 60 in all) worked in the morning and afternoon. Came back and had free time - then amazing worship and teaching and tons of fun during the nights!

This was a great trip for our students at TrueNorth Church. Many had no idea what to expect, and came anyway. I truly believe our students have started understanding it is not just about them. Dustin did a great job during our teaching time to explain sacrifice, service, and obedience. Our students lives were changed. They are ready to go into our community and put into practice what they have learned. Now it is my job to continue that passion and excitement for mission and service in North Augusta/Augusta. It is awesome to see the lights come on with students understanding: less of me and more of You.

Visit the Go Camp MySpace at www.myspace.com/gocamp