Monday, January 30, 2006

Church: Heather was sick yesterday and Nathan was recovering from the same stomach bug so my friend, BJ and I were on our own for church. We had planned to hit the early service at a church he had visited about a year ago. He said the church was enjoyable and that he would like to check it out again, it sounded like a good plan so we followed through on it even though it was just the two of us. Besides there isn't much else to do at 8:30 on a sunday morning. (There is always the Golden Corral)

I'm going to leave the church nameless because of what I'm about to say about it. Overall I would say it was one of the worst church experiences I've had in my life. During the worship through song I just didn't connect with the style, which is fine, it's not all about music. What was hard was the preaching. The church was charasmatic by name and theology. I knew that going in. What I wasn't prepared for was the fact that I was made to feel second class because I am not charasmatic. The kicker is this. As a believer I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the gifts of the spirit...all of them not just the ones that are easy to understand.

In my denomination (C&MA) we are taught to "seek not forbid not" regarding the speaking in tongues issue. I confess now that a few years ago I wondered by I did not have the gift of tongues and prayed that God would give me the gift. For a while this was my prayer but after some I came to the conclusion that God did not desire to give me that gift and I instead felt led to nurture the other gifts that he did give me like preaching and teaching.

So what do I do? I sit in a fellowship of believers that say I am not baptized in the Holy Spirit unless I speak in tongues. They say I'm a skeptic and just don't believe enough but I am a man of great faith so that answer is without merit. So where does that leave me. Well in their eyes and how I'm made to feel while in their church is that I'm second class, I'm a semi-christian. I know but I don't believe.

I know where I stand in God's eyes and I know I am equipped mightly as he calls me to ministries. That's not a source of insecurity at all, but it does bother me that my brothers and sisters would view in that light.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Two mullet sightings in the past week. The picture above was taken at wal-mart and is a beautiful example of the female version of the mullet. Also known as the She-Mullet or as I like to say the "chic-let"

This mullet is pretty rare and you don't find it very often...of course who's looking. This is what I like to call the "moca-mullet", part moccasin part mullet. This was a hard call because is that a mohawk or not. I finally just had to make the call and take the picture. The final vote was it is a mullet not a mohawk because the 'hawk clears the collar and is not sticking up. Behold the Mocamullet.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Packing: I was looking at and dreaming about a new handgun last night. I don't have that kind of cash right now but will keep saving. This morning I see this article in the paper.

By WARREN FISKE, The Virginian-Pilot © January 27, 2006

RICHMOND — An Henrico County legislator apologized to the House of Delegates on Thursday for firing his handgun in his legislative office.

Republican Jack Reid said the weapon went off accidentally about 9 a.m. while he was ejecting the clip from his .380-caliber Kel-Tec handgun.

The discharged round was stopped by a bullet-proof vest that was hanging on Reid’s office door. No damage was done to state property, according to a report filed with the Capitol Police.
Reid, who has a concealed weapons permit, notified the Capitol police, and no charges were filed. Several hours later, the chagrined lawmaker personally apologized at separate meetings of the House Republican and Democratic caucuses and then before the entire chamber.

"Everyone has a right to feel safe here,” Reid said on the House floor.
Reid’s colleagues applauded after his apology on the floor and accepted his explanation.
“Just like anything else, accidents do happen,” said Del. Kenneth Melvin, D-Portsmouth. “I’m sure he’ll learn from this and be more careful with his handgun.”
Several lawmakers said Reid is not the only member of the General Assembly who carries a concealed weapon.

“I do know factually that some people have obtained concealed weapons permits because they have had life-threatening phone calls,” said Del. Harry Purkey, R-Virginia Beach. “Their families have had life-threatening calls. They decided to get a weapon in case one of these kooks decided to follow through with their threat.”

Reed said the bullet-proof vest was a gift from law enforcement officials that he leaves hanging in his office and does not wear.

Sick: Heather is really sick today, with what appears to be either food poisoning or a bad stomach virus. That means I'm with Nathan and we're having a good time but that means Heather is on her own just in case it might be a virus. A virus that neither Nathan or I wants to get.

Super Bowl: The flyers are done for the Super Bowl Open House we are having. I need to get them distributed but am hoping for a warmer day so me and Nathan can go together. We're hoping for about 30 people.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Va. Beach Contd: I hadn't had time to completely process my speaking on Sunday. Not only was this the first time I had spoke as a church planter and as a representative of the Mid-Atlantic District but the first time I had cast my vision and dream to a group larger than...5. It was amazing how I was able to articulate so well exactly what my heart is passionate about. It was also so amazing to see the overwhelming repsonse from the congregation to my vision. They caught it and by the time we left they were passionate about it as well.

For His kingdom and His Bride.

Meeting: I was up at our District Office yesterday for a voluntary committee meeting. This was a meeting for the church health task force. I don't say this flippantly but considering I work in a district where very few churches are growing this is a pretty daunting task. Honestly I wasn't looking very forward to it. God has given me a passion for his church and I desire to see the Bride of Christ healthy but at the same time I felt like I was trying to wrestle a monkey that just won't stand still.

Fortunately I wasn't being asked to do it by myself and by the end of the day I think the committee had discussed matters that are directly responsible and/or related to the fact that our district churches are unhealthy. These were very candid and upfront conversations and what I think is a good step in the right direction.

Before we left we also developed a plan to evaluate churches and help get them on paths to health. Real solid tangible stuff.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sermon: Yesterday I preached as a church planter for the first time. This isn't at the church I'm planting but to represent the district and it's church planting efforts. It was at New Hope Christian Fellowship in VA. Beach, VA. I served on the church multiplication committee with the Pastor- Peter Daley. He is a kindred spirit with me and church planting and the church was very supportive and loving to me and my family.

The sermon went well and I was encouraged by how God spoke through me. The purpose of this message was to not only make aware the vastness of the harvest in our world but to raise prayer support and financial support to church planting efforts. I was pleased with the results.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

"Personal computers have brand names. But inside every pc is an Intel chip and an operating system, Windows," Warren says. "The Purpose Driven paradigm is the Intel chip for the 21st-century church and the Windows system of the 21st-century church."—Rick Warren, Christianity Today, Oct. 2005 in talking about his global peace plan.

um...Rick might want to rethink this metaphor.

A friend send me this picture. Cowher after they lose to Denver tomorrow. Click this link to have some fun with Cowher's Face. It's a party.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

We got our new chair yesterday. Nathan wanted to try it out first.

I was walking George, my dog, this morning and saw this sign on the community bulletin board. Do your best to see around the glare. So I have just one question. If the cat has a phone...why are they still looking for it? Sound like the cat wanted to leave if you ask me!

Youth Group: Last night I spoke at a Youth Group for the first time since about Thanksgiving. It was at my old youth group and the church I grew up in so it was a neat experience for me. It was probably one of the first times I spoke at a group that wasn't "mine". I realized how much I rely on relationships and rapport with people when I speak. I think that is a good thing but the dynamic changes when you have no prior relationships and have about 3.3 seconds to gather their attention.

The night went very well and I left feeling like the students knew me better and I knew them better. To top it all off I'd say at least half were paying attention when I was talking, either that or they are good pretenders.

Sunday: This sunday I preach for the first time representing my district for Church Multiplication. I'm excited to get this going and, I must admit, kind of nervous. The good news is about the nervous part is that it's never about me but about what God wants his people to hear, I just have the privilege of being the one who says it. I just want to work hard to be faithful to such an important task. That and I do want to generate support and excitement in people across our district for church multiplication (aka- church planting).

Mark 4:26-29 will be my primary text with a little back up from Nehemiah. I also need to share about Suffolk and the church plant so the sermon can't be very long. I want to give a basic overview of the text and some observations I've made.

  1. Growth is God's responsibility (planting and harvesting ours).
  2. Grain has been growing and we haven't been looking.
  3. Reaching the harvest now will look different than ever before as it must for every generation.
  4. The harvest is ready.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

IPOD Scare: I had an ipod scare this morning. I couldn't get it to work at all, nothing, complete freeze up and I even tried resetting it the way they instruct on their website. Still nothing. Then I called tech support and while waiting they described another way to reset. It worked. I was sweating it. Something that cost $300 should work for a little more than 7 months...and it does. It just wanted to scare me.

MAC: I have been debating the idea in my mind in getting a mac. The primary reason is that for pc's to be so widely used and windows to be the software of choice and used by almost every person in the world with a sucks. Millions use your product so make it mediocre. I don't understand that. My brother in law is better than most with computers he tells me that if I want optimum performance from my pc I need to completely reformat it every 6 months. Now that's just silly, not him saying that but the fact that it seems to be true.

Apple has just released the news about the intel chip being inside the new MacBook Pro that boast 4x the speed of the powerbook G4. Holy Crap I want one!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Divorce: I was at wal-mart today like I am every other day and while walking through the checkout I saw the tabloids. Not the freaky ones with 400lb toddlers and aliens but the ones that have a strange love for celebrities and are always reporting on the lives of fallen celebrities. On the cover of most is a picture of Nick and Jessica Simpson. DIVORCE plastered across the covers. Then under this heading are questions like; "What went wrong?" "Who's Fault?" or Jessica pleaing "I didn't do anything wrong!".

I'm sure these magazines don't want an answer but rather a juicy story. But in reality they are asking all the wrong questions and I think overall perception of marriage and divorce in our culture is all wrong. I think the prevailing attitude for marriage is that of a boat. If two people get in a boat and take off on a voyage together and as long as noone does anything stupid they will arrive on time and at their destination.

I think this attitude is all wrong. I think rather the better attitude is if I let this boat drift I will be divorced it's really only a matter of time. I think all marriages are destined for divorce unless measures are taken. I know my boat metaphor will break down eventually but for the time being: If you get in a boat and drift you wind up where the current takes you. If you get in a marriage and drift you get where the culture takes you, divorce.

So put up your sails, paddle like hell and be counter cultural.

Monday, January 16, 2006

MLK: Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Yesterday while at Grace Harbor Church the pastor put together a mini-presentation with pictures and MLK's I have a Dream speech. It was very moving I think for the first time I was able to appreciate the civil rights movement.

Grace Harbor: I heard about this church from a friend, Paul Richards who is the area Young Life director. His friend, Greg West, is a local church planter at Grace Harbor (UMC). They've been around about 3 years. It was good to meet Greg and good to be in a service where we were comfortable. The worship was familiar and the Greg is a good communicator. You could really sense the idea of community from the people. To top is off Greg publically welcomed Heather and I and announced us as church planters. For a church of about 80 that is right down the street from where we are hoping to meet that is a very unselfish move. It was very nice and I felt very honored.

Recognize: I was sitting in Starbucks early this morning using my coupon, reading my bible and making some changes to my newsletter. A guy walks in orders his coffee and goes to put his book down. I notice that his book is a bible, I was a little surprised because I thought I was the only one that does their Bible reading in a coffee shop. He noticed me about the same time I noticed him and walked over to say hi. Turns out I met Gary, a youth pastor, when we were scouting out the area and area churches last summer. We had a good conversation and he encouraged me and when he was walking out about half hour later told me he had prayed for me and would be praying for me. He also told me to call him and we'd hang out.

You don't plan stuff like that. God does though.

From the Cup: Modern life is remarkable, but we’re still human beings with basic human needs. We need real community. We need satisfying and compelling work. We need health, play, love, and companionship. A century of remarkable technological advances can’t undo the millions of years of evolution that have made us who we are, and to pretend otherwise is to do ourselves a huge disservice.
-- Moby

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I'm not for bashing any president but this quote was funny:

Frodo Failed
Bush has the ring

NFL: Seahawks vs. Redskins- yeah I knew my skins didn't have much of a chance but it was a good run.
Broncos vs. Patriots- I called this one a mile away. Broncos in the superbowl.
Colts vs Steeler- Basically anything good that comes out of pittsburgh is an anomoly but I didn't think they had a chance against the colts.
Panthers vs. Bears- I saw the Bears as the most overrated NFL team this season. Man it hurts being this right.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Chili's: Heather and I went to Chili's tonight. The one we went to is in a really cool mall and there is also an excellent play area that Nathan really enjoys. Another reason we went there was our friend BJ was working. I had the Fajita Pita and Heather had the Monterey Chicken with taquitos. BJ supplied the free drinks, chips and salsa and the broccoli cheese soup. Even without the free grub it was the best dining experience I've had in a long time. The food was good the company great and the server excellent.

Snow boots: So I'm not fashion policeman but these snow boots the girls are wearing around are down right silly. I'm sure someone told them somewhere down the line that this was style but let's let common sense rule the day. So I thought I'd write a brief method for finding out what you are wearing looks stupid regardless of what stores are selling.

1. Put on desired clothes for the day
2. Look in mirror
3. ask self "self, do you look stupid?" if the answer is yes repeat steps 1-3 if the answer is not proceed with regular schedule.

Pat: So I now live in the dominion of Pat Robertson. I'm not going to comment right now but I will later. In the meantime check out this article.

I got a new set of computer speakers yesterday. They are really great...except they pick up a radio signal all the time even when they aren't hooked up to anything.

Impact: Last night went very well. During the afternoon hours I was putting the final touches on what I wanted to say and what parts of the vision I wanted to cast. The main thing that happened during those hours is that God told me to relax a little and with a few well placed phone calls that I received that is exactly what happened. So last night was the first meeting of our Impact Group. I chose that name because for the next 8 weeks or so our main objective is to get to know one another and to get the name of our new church into the community. My first inclination is to bound forward but I know that a time of incubation and growing together is very necessary.

I am trusting God for continued contact and in the next few weeks anticipate some strategic mailings and phone calls.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Free: So I went to Starbucks today just to clear my head and get some vision and believe it or not ask God to speak to me. I just hear better with the smell of roasted coffee beans in the air. So I go in with my man purse containing my bible and church planter's work book that I need to get done. I hear the girl behind the counter complaining that their signature sharpie that they use to write on cups is out of ink. I'm a sharpie freak (within reach right now I know of at least 4 and there is one in my truck) so I reach in my bag and find the blue one, that I seldom use and I handed it to the girl. I figured they would give me my drink for free for the sharpie and was regretting only ordering a tall iced coffee I should have gone for the triple shot venti white mocha or something like that. Well better than giving me my $2 iced coffee for free she gave me a coupon for a drink in the future. And then I get to the counter where you get your drink and that girl gave me a coupon too. I told her the other already gave me one but she told me to keep it anyway. So because of my sharpie fascination I was given about $10 worth of Starbucks today. Whooo-hoooooo!

Insert: I'm talking to a new neighbor today. "Hi I'm Nick" she says "my name is Tonya" I notice Tonya has an accent it sounds Wisconsin. "Are you from up north somewhere?" she says "Germany"

Well that explains the accent but what explains me being totally off as to where she was from?

Hebrews: not that I'd ever go into business for myself or start a coffee house but if I did I'd have a name for it- He Brews. Probably a good idea I'm not opening one soon.

Core Group: Tonight is the first act of The Bridge Church of Suffolk, VA. Tonight we get together for some core group development. I'm expecting about 5-7 people and they are all people that have expressed interest in being part of the group that plants this church. I am excited and nervous but mostly...ready. I will be sharing the vision that God has directed me towards and the vision I believe God has for this church and this community.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

News: I think I have discovered one of of my gifts. I'm not sure it's a good thing. So we lived in Frederick for not quite 4 years. Before I moved there I has never heard of it before. As soon as I move there we start making national news and during the time I lived there we made the news more than a handful of times. Including the DC snipers capture, large sinkholes, the post 9/11 anthrax stuff, planes flying over the capital and a few others.

So I think it has begun for Suffolk, Va. While not quite national Marcus Vick was arrested here a day or so ago...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Neighbors: Like most people in this world we have neighbors that live to the right and to the left of us. I have had limited contact with both sets, general neighbor stuff. One of our neighbors has 2 kids, one is in the eighth grade and the other fifth grade. Because they locked their keys in their house one day they had to spend the afternoon at our house playing with Nathan's toys. Seeing as he was 8 months old at the time that still strikes me as funny. The other neighbors son is probably about 40 and seemed to really enjoy talking to me.

So that is the background now for my point. Both neighbors I met were ladies. I met the neighbor to our right and was not given the feeling of being very welcomed. In fact I got the idea that if she never spoke to me again she'd be happy. I shrugged it off and just let it go. Our neighbor to our left came over the other day to introduce herself. She was very pleasant and very talkative and I felt like I knew a little bit about her when she went back home.

So two very different meetings. The funny thing was my attitude. The neighbor that was rude or indifferent at best I wrote off immediately. My thought was well if she doesnt' like me then i don't like her. Basically I didnt' see how she had worth in my life. The other neighbor was nice and I immediately saw that she would make a great neighbor and possibly a great friend. She had value.

I'm being honest here. When most people meet others they immediately evaluate their value in their lives. People we see that might be valuable we strike up conversations with, others we leave alone. I'm trying to recognize that I do this. I think most people do. It's not good, just a fact of life. But it doesn't have to be.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Read a quote: I'd rather be used up than rusting away.

Bowl: College football is the greatest sport. I think one could convince me that college basketball is but right now it being bowl season I'm going to say that college football is the best. People complain about there being no playoffs and sometimes a split championship but I think the rankings do add a good bit of excitement to the game. It is obvious that the rankings aren't perfect when #3 ranked Penn State inches out a win over #22 ranked Florida State team but I think they add something to the game. This year, of course, there is no debate. The two time champ is still unbeaten going up against an excellent Texas team. I'm rooting for texas because afterall who doesn't like the underdog.

The other reason I'm cheering for Texas. Three-Peat. Did you know that Pat Riley gets paid 300K every time that is used because he came up with it when the Bulls three peated in the 90's. I don't hate Pat Riley or anything but...make money off of a word. Crazy.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Redskins: So by birth I'm a Redskins fan. Back in my boyhood days life was good. We won 2 Super Bowls within 5-6 years. Well the last ring was in '91 and I believe we've only made the playoffs a few times since. Well this year we not only finished the season well but went 5-1 in our division and made the playoffs. Hail to the Redskins, Hail Victory, Braves on the warpath we'll fight for ole' DC.

Tomorrow: First day of work tomorrow at the new job. No time clock, no going to the office for the first time. Did someone say job? Serioulsy though I know I'll have my challenges. I'm working from home for the first time and I am also working in a ministry that is not always going to have tangible measuring devices for success. But isn't that like most ministry?

2005 in Review:
(typed on my pda/smartphone)

This is supposed to be a blog entry and it will be but probably not until I make it home. Problem is here I am New Year's eve and I am sick. I'm as sick as I have been in a very long time. but I guess the good news is I get to watch the giants game not because I like the giants but because I want them to lose so the redskins can win their division. too abd Tiki just broke a 95 td run.

I've been planning on doing a year in review for a few days now so I guess now is a great time to put it down on paper.

  • my son Nathan was born March 3
  • I was affirmed and placed as a church planter for the Chriastian and Missionary Alliance
  • my best friend JB had a son April 29
  • JB and Iris and Gavin went to Russia to start language school
  • I resigned as youth pastor leaving the best youth group in the world
  • I celebrated 4 years of marriage

A list can't define a year but it gives a start. Most of all I learned a little more about my savior Jesus Christ, a little more about grace, love and surrender, I think the most memorable is the stuff Nathan has taught me about life and loving him. Most of all a glimpse of comprehension of the Father' love for me!