Friday, June 20, 2008

I Must Be Spoiled

Although I always thought it would be cool, I never realized how much I would love being a dad. It is awesome to hold Coleman or have Chloe run up and give me hug, wrap her arms around my leg, and want me to walk her around as she sits on my foot. I love how she wants me to play with her, hold her (she says hold you me), and read her a story then pray as I put her down at night.

She is an awesome mess too. She devours her food like a champ, going at her meals hand over fist to make sure nothing is left. She throws her toys all over looking for her baby’s bottle, and always takes her sweet little time cleaning up. She has a kind nature (on our way to VBS Wednesday we stopped at Sonic for breakfast. As the guy brought the food to our car she asked, “what’s that man doing?” I said, “Bringing us our food,” she replied, “that’s so nice!”), even though she is bossy and a little aggressive… she has me spoiled!

Coleman the Sports Fan is coming into his own as well. His personality is starting to develop and he is smiling on purpose. In the past few weeks he is acting happy when I hold him! He seems to love being outside as it is our failsafe when he cannot seem to calm down. People think I’m joking when I say this, but he is already doing push-ups, and rolled over at 4 weeks… total stud athlete!

Being a dad is the best. It is unbelievable that God has blessed me with a wonderful wife, son, and daughter. As the saying goes, I am sure the best is yet to come!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bright Ideas

Over the years I have heard many different ways to be creative in ministry. Although I do not feel as though I am the most creative person in the world, it is critical to think outside of the box in hopes of maximizing effectiveness. Some people like to use “wild and crazy” methods to spark excitement, but I prefer looking at the DNA of my setting and going from there.

My least favorite method for getting new ideas is the CASE method: Copy And Steal Everything. Not only is it unoriginal, there is nothing to say that what worked at another church in another setting will work where I am. The primary example of this came when Rick Warren and Saddleback blew on the scene. Pastors from all across America went to the Purpose driven seminars and returned with Hawaiian shirts and sermons that Pastor Warren had preached from his pulpit. The problem however was found that Hawaiian shirts were fine in Southern California, but when trying to pull that look off in Iowa, Oklahoma, or Mississippi a pastor just looks confused and stupid.

This week I came across another idea for turning ideas into reality. Scott Hodge listed his process: Create, Criticize, Optimize, Validate, & Execute. To me this is much better than the CASE method and it requires originality, something which must never be overlooked. If one is reduced to poaching other people’s sermons, messages, ideas and thoughts, I would ask, “why on earth are you in ministry… does God not talk to you… where is your God-given vision?” With that being said, never forget your ministry setting and never forget where you feel God is leading your church.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Wholly Holy

Last month our church did a series called Wholly Holy. My hope for this was to create an awareness in the hearts of our church to consecrate ourselves for the great work God is leading us to in the relocation project (we are about to vote on the plans, everything associated with that, and have a capital campaign). In order to give credit where credit is due, I would like to give props to Mike Fechner, my former boss from p-wood. We were talking about the spiritual development aspect of the campaign, and he said that if we missed out on God, we would limit the potential that He had in mind for us.

The focus for us was Joshua 3:5, “Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow I will do amazing things among you.” We have been able to focus on our personal, family, and corporate wholeness, seeking to be holy in every area of our lives. One of the truths God has been teaching me in this process is that I am either fully holy or not holy at all. There are not compartments of my life I can allow God to dominate and others where I can ignore Him. Either He is either Lord of all or not at all.

A prayer of consecration from John G. Lake:

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you boldly in Jesus' name. Take me as I am. I now give myself - my heart, my mind, my body, my time, talents and treasure to you. Fill me and possess me. I renounce all sins, self and satan. Jesus, sanctify me. Cleanse me, purge me, purify me. Your will be done in my life, on earth as it is in heaven. Let me manifest a faithful spirit, a pure mind and a sickless body to your glory. Amen.