Sunday, August 30, 2009

My avocation

One of the things I enjoy most is the study of the Bible. Whether it's for use now or studying the ancients versions of it, my heart beats fast for it. The picture you see at left is the portion of a papyrus version of 1 Peter. It was only recently discovered. For those who say Biblical study is boring, I say you're not doing it right! Here's a link to the site where you can read more about it and learn more about the fascinating world of New Testament studies. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting my mind right

Each day I get an email from Zondervan Publishing House, printers of the New International Version Bible. They send me a random verse per day, completely random to me although I'm sure they have some sort of plan involved. The amazing thing is how timely these verses seem to be for me. Today was a great example. Although this week has been nothing short of amazing, it's always tough starting a new gig. Having to ask such mundane questions - like "where do we keep the pens?" or "how do I mail this?" or, my personal favorite for myself, "How do I turn on the copier?" - it's a reminder that we're still getting our feet on the ground. Thus, when I opened that email this morning, I couldn't help but smile. Today's verse is Isaiah 26:3 - "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." This week hasn't been trying because of my job or the people I work with - far from it. But has been a challenge in focusing my heart and mind on Christ and not all that needs to be done. We'll get there - I just know it - but my calling is still to keep my mind centered on Christ, not the tasks he's placed before me.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Welcome Central BC friends!

Welcome to our friends from Central BC! Herein, you'll find my incoherency on full display! If you take time to read this with any frequency at all, you'll find my thoughts are as random as the day is long! My hope and prayer is that you'll also find something of my heart for people and ministry here. First, a word about who I am and where I plan to go. My deep desire is (1) for the love of Christ to change each of us for the sake of His kingdom; (2) for the love of Christ to change what we do and why we do it; (3) for the love of Christ to call us to worship Him for who He really is, not just what I'd like to think of Him as; (4) for the love of Christ to call us to mentor and guide other lives toward maturity in Christ; (5) for the love of Christ to bind us together in faithfulness and love as we serve Christ together.

Although it's not been advertised, Steve Edwards has been gracious enough to let me have the privilege of leading tomorrow night's prayer meeting. We'll be starting a journey through Psalms and Proverbs that we'll employ on Wednesday nights. Sunday morning, we'll be discussing "Who God LONGS for you to be" - the first of a two part series. Sunday night, we'll begin a study on Christian history, theology and what the church holds true and, more importantly, why.

What do I need from you? First, I need you to pray fervently for the work of Christ in our church and community. We need revival in our nation as we never have before! Second, I need for you to pray for my family as we begin this new journey. Third, I need for you to pray for your staff at CBC. We have an exceptional staff! Pray the Lord's protection and provision over them, their families and their work. Finally, pray for yourself (I put this one last because we seem to never fail to do this one anyway!). Ask the God of all wisdom and grace to guide you.

That's it for now - check back to find more of my nonsense.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Home

We're back. What a great time we had! It was an awesome time to spend with us before next week. A brief recap:
Monday - We went to the Alamo and the Dallas Cowboys Training Camp at the Alamodome. Both super cool! While I've been to the Alamo many, many times ( I once had a job that had a significant amount of travel around the state and San Antonio was a regular stop), I never cease to be impressed by it. It stirs the love of history and Texas within me and causes me, once again, to thank God for this amazing and wonderful land in which we live.
As for the Cowboys,I've long wanted to go to Training camp just for the experience. It was no disappointment! It was great to see the Cowboys up close - I'll never be able to afford seats that close at the new stadium - and the best part was it was FREE! Since we had parked downtown, we didn't even pay a parking fee!
Tuesday - Literally, we did nothing. We slept late, swam in the hotel pool, ate a late lunch and went shopping. My favorite stop was Half-Price books. I'm such a book junkie!
Wednesday - We went to SeaWorld! Julie and I went to the one in San Diego a few years ago and I'd been to one like it when I was a kid in Arlington, TX, but it was still mega-cool to me. Of course, Shamu was the star attraction for much of it, but we spent a good part of the day in the water park, a wonderful and welcome addition. The crowd was light - Julie and I walked on to the Great White Roller Coaster with no wait at ALL! - and the weather wasn't as hot as it had been so it was great! The bad part was my best Nike shoes had a blowout while we were there. Strangest thing - the air pocket on the right heel expanded creating a lump of air for me to walk on the rest of the day!
Thursday - Came home, but not before we went to the Outlet malls in San Marcos. I had to have a new pair of Nikes!
So now its Saturday and, for the first time in a long time, I'm not preaching tomorrow. I'm not really sure what to do with that other than wait expectantly for Monday and my first day in the CBC offices. If you're a CBC member, pray for us as we begin this journey together!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My last post from FBC

I'm here in my FBC office, but it's different now. All the books are gone and so are the wall-hangings. My little knick-knacks and tchotchkes are gone as well. It has been the strangest summer of my life. I would've never believed it if you had told me on Memorial Day weekend. Sunday is our last day here - it's shocking to me even now to say that. All the life and heart and soul poured out here - it's hard to reconcile all of this.

And yet, in this change and the accompanying loss, there's a quiet confidence in my heart. A confidence that yes, this IS INDEED God's plan for us. I don't know why and I can't express with clarity what happens from here. For all human intents and purposes, this looks like insanity. Yet I'm fully convinced and convicted this is the plan of the Lord.

To my friends at FBC Frankston: Thanks for allowing us to serve the Lord here for the last two-plus years. We're indebted to you in so many ways. Your love and encouragement has meant so much and I'm thrilled we're not going far. For those who are disappointed we're leaving, I take that as a great compliment of your trust and love for our service here. Yet I ask that you trust the Lord and me, just as you have for the last two-plus years. Please know of my prayers for each of you and for our beloved FBC.

To my new friends at Central, Jacksonville: Thanks for trusting the Lord and me enough to call me as your pastor. Please pray for me as I seek to serve the Lord faithfully in that role. I look forward to seeing what the Lord has for us together as we begin this journey together. There's much to look forward to as we get started. We'll see you on August 30th!

Monday, August 03, 2009

I love puns!

For my friends who love puns, here are some I got today and just had to share them! I'll harass my wife with them when I get home!

A CAREER IN PUNS

My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. I couldn't concentrate.

Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.

After that, I tried to be a tailor, but I wasn't suited for it -- mainly because it was a sew-sew job.

Next, I tried working in a muffler factory, but that was too exhausting.

Then, I tried to be a chef -- figured it would add a little spice to my life, but I just didn't have the thyme.

I attempted to be a deli worker; but any way I sliced it, I couldn't cut the mustard.

I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patience.

Next, was a job in a shoe factory. I tried but I couldn't fit in. I became depressed and soulful.

Then there was the professional fisherman job. But I discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.

I managed to get a job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining.

So then I got a job in a workout center, but they said I wasn't fit for the job.

After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as an historian -- until I realized there was no future in it.

My last job was working in Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Welcome Central BC Friends

For those who are from our soon-to-be church home at Central BC, Jacksonville, WELCOME! This is the place for my ramblings about whatever is on my (oft-demented) mind. Now, on to what I really wanted to say. . . .

Tonight, I was called as pastor of Central BC in Jacksonville by an unanimous vote of 300+. Wow. That shocked me. There's always at least one "no" in a crowd of any size. At least one person usually votes "no" to make sure it isn't unanimous. But tonight, it was. It strikes me that it's an example of the spirit of the church.

I can't remember a time when I had a greater swell of emotion. The joy of being called mixed with the sadness of leaving our beloved FBC in Frankston. The anticipation of a new challenge mixed with the challenge of new opportunities. We don't know what happens next when we get there, but we know we'll be ready for it when it does come by holding the hand of the Lord.

Please pray for us as we get ready to go. Pray for our short vacation we'll take between leaving Frankston and arriving in Jacksonville. Pray for the days ahead to be a powerful reminder of God's grace and love for Jacksonville and Cherokee County.

If you're an FBC member, we'll see you Sunday. If you're a member at Central, we'll see you on August 30. If you're an interested bystander, pray for us - we'll need it.