Monday, November 24, 2008

Decisions, decisions...

A few weeks ago, Willie asked me to preach this Sunday while he was gone to Hawaii. Who really goes to Hawaii for Thanksgiving anyway? I can't imagine substituting sand for stuffing, but whatever... Anyway, I had a pretty good idea what I was going to talk about. I basically had been 'percolating' on the idea for about 2 weeks, then decided to change directions. Now, I'm rethinking the second direction, but not really wanting to go back to the first. Second guessing is so much fun!

It's a lot easier to decide what to preach when you do it every week.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Impending...

I'm messing with the idea of altering the format of this blog. I may have some frequent changes over the next week or so as I test-drive a few different things. Let me know what you think... or if there are features you'd like to see here. Sorry in advance if this experiment causes something to be lost that you just can't live without.

At the Crossroads 1.2

Last night at youth group, a ping pong ball got broken. I know, right... Huge traumatic deal! Ok, maybe not such a big deal. The thing is, a girl came asking me for a ball because they couldn't find one. I asked the kids who I knew had been playing ping pong last if they remembered where they put the ball when they were done. "We don't have it."

"I know you don't have it, but do you know where it is."

"No."

"Where did you leave it?" (Knowing that ping pong balls don't generally go biped and walk off, I thought this was a pretty good question.)

"We didn't do anything."

"I didn't accuse you of doing anything."

....silence

...more silence

"We broke it."

Actually the confession was more like "We were hitting it and it broke all by itself." but the bottom line is the ping pong ball was toast.

Having no emotional attachment to the ping pong ball, I went to my office and got out a new one. No big deal. What is a big deal though is the way we try to cover up our secrets with lies. As soon as I asked about the ball, the boy got defensive and lied to me. Over a ping pong ball!

This is nothing new. Adam hid from God in the garden. Cain claimed ignorance of his brother's location even as he knew Abel's body lay right where he took the life from it. David covered up the theft of his neighbor's wife with a sneaky plan. When that didn't work, he made sure Urriah wouldn't live to know the truth. Ananias and Saphira lied to the apostles to cover up previous dishonesty.

At the crossroads, there is no room for hiding. Here, you must stand out in the open before God and bare your soul to Him. If there is any hope of finding your way (and there is), it requires you to show yourself. To openly place yourself in the hands that have so wonderfully made you. Hands that already know you.

Check out Psalm 39. Go ahead, read what you find at that link, then come back and answer these questions.

What are you trying to hide from God? How is that affecting your relationship with Him?

"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it..."

See you at the crossroads.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

At the Crossroads 1.1

I've started a series of devotions for my students that I post on our student ministry blog. Thought I'd share them here, too, with a little adaptation if necessary.

I'm going to start posting some devotional thoughts here each week to encourage you to move your faith out of the walls of our regular youth group events/activities. There will be some thoughts, scriptures, and prayers for you to think about as you go through your week. Use the comments section to discuss and question - I'll reply as quickly as I can, and feel free to reply to each other. Here's the first edition of "At the Crossroads"...
--------------------------------------
Last night, we talked about paying attention to God. Now that I think about, I talk about paying attention to God a lot. Have you ever wondered why I harp on that subject so much?
Is it because I don't think you're paying enough attention to God? Maybe, in part. Imagine someone from another planet spends a day observing you to see what's most important to you - to find out what drives you, what guides your choices. What would they see? How do you fill your time? What is it that you just "can't miss"?
My guess is that our outside observer, based on how you spend your day, would not come to the conclusion that your Creator is most important to you. So maybe I talk so much about paying attention to God because I don't think you do enough of it.
But to be fair, you're not the only one. I find my own days filling themselves with a lot of stuff that's not necessarily putting God first. Just today, I've dropped my kids off at school, moved some stuff around in our backyard, made a quick check on facebook, took Marshall to pick up his phone when I went to get the trailer hooked up for the trip to Turning Point tomorrow, and worked on this devotion. But I have to admit, I haven't really stopped to hear the heartbeat of God today.
It's a constant struggle to give our Maker the attention He deserves from us. But it's a struggle worth fighting. Whatever you have planned right now... put it off. Go spend some time alone with God. Listen to Him. "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it..."

I'll see you at the crossroads.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Promo for Spring Event

We have an area youth rally each spring that we rotate between a few churches. This year, we're hosting, so I did a promo video. Let me know what you think... I'm still learning my new program. And if you're looking for something for your teens this April, I'll get you the details so you can join us.

video

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Gift Ideas for those in my life who've been asking...

Begin Here:



Outside of that feel free to use your imagination - I'm easy to please.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Reflections

A random assortment of thoughts from last night:

> Watching states get "called" for one candidate or another, I was impressed with the networks' ability to assimilate so much data so quickly that they could extrapolate the outcome from very small percentages of actually counted votes. Like when Vermont was called with ZERO precincts reporting. (Read that with as much deadpan sarcasm as you'd like.)

> It wouldn't make a difference in the outcome of this election, but does it still make sense to choose a president using the electoral college rather than popular vote? Then again, would the popular majority method just lead to candidates focusing on a few key cities rather than a few key states?

> This election has taken far too long and cost way too much. I wonder if it would be a good idea to limit the time frame in which a prospective candidate can campaign and the amount of money they can use to do so?

> Now that Obama has been elected, how will his opponents respond? A lot of accusations have been made - some with more credence than others. But in a couple months, he will be the President of the United States of America. Will those who didn't want him as President, submit to the authority of the office?

> Will there be any real change in the way the political machine of our nation operates?

> Watching Obama speak last night, there was a conflicted mix in my mind. Race alone cannot stop someone in our nation from achieving whatever their abilities will allow them to achieve. Several generations ago, Obama would have been considered 3/5ths of a person (or even less) when it came to politics; now he will be at the pinnacle of American political heap. That is real change, brought on over the last several decades, that America can be proud of. But it does concern me that the leader of our nation will now be leaning further left than any previous occupant of the White House. It will be interesting to say the least to see how Obama will actually lead. What will happen to his popularity when he has to start making and taking the tough calls of the presidency?

> I appreciated the tenor of Obama's speech last night. (Actually much of what he said would be heralded by the right had it been said by someone from the right.) With the huge crowd gathered around him, it would have been easy to work them up into a victory hype like we've never seen before. Instead of absorbing all the energy of his crowd and accepting their worship (which many people seem more than willing to give), he thanked his people, and reminded them that there is work to do to re-establish a sense of unity among the people of the United States.

I know a lot of my friends are up in arms about Obama. From socialist to Marxist to clandestine Muslim out to rot America from the inside out to being the AntiChrist out to overturn God's world order - I've heard all those ideas. I just can't buy into them. But he's not the savior of the American people either. That office is permanently filled by one who will never campaign. He just is. Let's make sure we don't forget where our true hope lies.

Blog Archive

weblogUpdates.ping theoquest http://www.theoquest.blogspot.com/