Monday, July 30, 2007

wow

Oh man...it's been a while. Allow me to catch you up...



We left on July 15th for a 2 week mission trip with the youth...it was incredible. God revealed His heart for each of these teens, and many of them responded in ways that make you glad you're on this journey together. Our first half was the Free Methodist Youth Conference, "IYC". That week we focused on becoming servants, and denying ourselves for others. The second week was a great "GROUP" Workcamp, also in Tennessee, where we met some other incredible teens in search of God, and worked hard serving the community around us. I don't have enough time/space to list everything that caught my heart/mind...so here's just a few:

- We don't worship the experience, we worship the God. This sentence caught me in a way that makes me want to say it often, aloud and in my own quiet times. No matter what our "experience" of God...it is not the experience we worship...it is God Himself. God will not change, and neither will our need for God. That gives us plenty to be thankful for, no matter if we're on the mountain top, or deep in the valley.

- What kind of Messiah do you want? When Pilate offered the people to release one person...Barabbas or Jesus....he was asking them what type of Messiah they wanted. The same question rings true for us each day. Do we seek a Messiah who will free us, and overthrow the "powers", conquering them and raising us up? Or do we seek a Messiah who speaks of dying to ourselves, giving up our desires, and serving even our enemies?

- SIMPLE GREEN! This cleaning solution pretty much kicks butt. During a week of painting a billion different walls, we discovered that Simple Green can clean ANYTHING....and pretty much do anything. Oh, and Jordan Hill is one hip country artist...sponsored by Simple Green. :)

So yeah, that's it in a nutshell. If you'd like to hear more stories, or see more pictures, or just worship with us....come this Sunday, August 5th...to Moundford Free Methodist Church in Decatur, IL....at 10:30am. See you there!

ps. I will be competing on WHEEL OF FORTUNE on THURSDAY, AUGUST 9th in Los Angeles....and it will be aired at a later date (I'll announce ASAP). God bless you all!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New Life...



So it's finally public....we are expecting a NEW BABY! February 21st, 2008. We are about 8 weeks in right now, so it'll be another 12 before we can announce the gender. We are very excited! We found out on Father's Day (which was an awesome present), but wanted to wait until the first ultrasound to announce it.

Kudos to my wife, who has agreed to go on our Mission Trip with us this next week, with Addison, while being a pregnant woman. We leave tomorrow, the 15th, with a group of about 20....and she'll come back with a couple others on the 22nd. The rest of us will stay and do a GROUP workcamp until coming back finally on the 27th.

So hopefully I've blogged enough to last you until I return (to whoever reads this). Please be prayin' for our group,and for the residents of Knoxville, and Kingston, TN. God has great things in store for us!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

rat-a-too-ee

Saw a great movie yesterday. A movie that I probably put far too much thought into. I'm not quite sure what started it, but it happened still.

"humans don't just live, they create"- a quote (I think) from the movie towards the beginning. Reminded me of something a friend of ours has been talking about lately, in regards to the elements of art and worship.

I won't go far into it, and won't even say that the movie works with this illustration throughout. You should go see this film for yourself, and allow the message to hit where it will. But I will say, watching this movie with the themes of "how humanity worships our creator", and "what is art?" in mind....it really became a rewarding experience. I would recommend this silly cartoon movie to anyone who wants a reminder, and a refresher on how to go about ascribing worth to God....or a kick in the pants to use the creative gifts we've each been given.

Just remember...."Anyone Can Cook!" We can be led into the presence of God, in so many more ways than we currently realize. How can you be a part of it?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Marriage is not a lifelong attraction of two individuals to each other, but a call for two people to witness together to God's love. The basis of marriage is not mutual affection, or feelings, or emotions and passions that we associate with love, but a vocation, a being elected to build together a house for God in this world....

...The real mystery of marriage is not that husband and wife love each other so much that they can find God in each other's lives, but that God loves them so much that they can discover each other more and more as living reminders of God's presence."
- Henri Nouwen - Clowning in Rome

It's not often that I'll post quotes up here, just because it's MY blog, and I feel like anyone can go anywhere else and find good thoughts from other people. But I really enjoy this section of Henri Nouwen's writing.

For anyone who's married, especially the Jesus-loving male...there's a pressure. On the worlds' side, the pressure to create within your marriage this "whirlwind" of romantic experiences, to where if all you do some nights is lay on the couch eating cheez-its; you feel like maybe you're a bad husband. On the churchs' side, the pressure to enforce strict family prayer/devotion/bible reading schedules on a daily basis; to where if you'd rather relax watching X-Men 3 again than seeing what Leviticus chapter 3 says....you feel like maybe you're a bad christian. (if you're interested, Leviticus 3 discusses the sacrifice of animals, and actually says towards the end "All fat is the Lords'". Does that mean if I gain weight, I'm holier, or less holy? :) )

It's freeing to remember that it's not about either extreme alone. Sure, moments of these things will inevitably end up in our families from time to time. But overall, it's our life together. Our lives that come together, pointing to God, creating a space between them for Him to actually reside...a Home. This is family. This is what I pray Addison grows up experiencing. This is how I hope I can love my wife. This is how I pray I can love my God...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New Phone


So yeah, I got my new phone finally....pretty stoked about being able to pretend I'm hip as half my teens at least. I got texting AND the ability to send/receive pictures.

But the process of purchasing the phone, and the act of "not purchasing" any of the extras (chargers, memory cards, phone protectors, etc) at the store, but opting to search online brought up a random question.

We all know cell phone stores, and most stores these days make a TON of their money off of generations that either don't know how to look online, or don't think it's worth the effort. But as more of the younger generations grow up to become the main consumer base....what happens to our economy?

Assuming these younger generations are educated consumers, knowing a good deal not because the sales-person as labeled it as such, but because they've done their research....will our economy thrive or dive?

Example: The cell phone store offered to sell me a 1GB memory card for my phone. It was originally $70, but was recently marked down to the CRAZY low price of $40!! I just finished ordering a 2GB memory card online for $25.

So what happens to these stores when they're unable to sell anything at CRAZY prices? Or what would happen to us, if the internet disappeared for some reason? I guess the stores keep praying for uneducated customers, and we keep praying for tools to be easily educated.