Friday, March 28, 2008

Overheard at the water cooler: By water cooler I mean on back porch while Nathan was playing with his friends from next door. The 3 girls Kennedy, Morgan and Madison have a little sister named Emma that is 7 months old. They got to see Seth this evening on the porch and one of the girls asks with disgust "Nathan, why is your little sister a boy?"

Prayer 101 Experiencing the Heart of God by Warren W. Wiersbe. Since my new addiction to FPU I cut out my book budget. So this week I wandered down to the library after my run to see what they had that I could read. I found this book by Wiersbe and figured it might be worth a read.

It was the best book I've read on prayer. He has a great writing style that is casual, blunt and yet theologically informative. He was willing to address some hard questions about unanswered prayers, why we should pray, if our prayers change the will of God and other stuff like that.

I took lots of notes and look forward to using this as a resource for my new message series to start on April 6th on prayer. I was telling Heather the other day that I have never been more excited for a message series. I know God is going to use this series to change lives and I look forward to being one of the vessels he uses to do this. I will be well prepared for this message series. I ordered two books on prayer and one of them came in today. I've been studying the scriptures about prayer, man I'm excited!

Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine by Tom Jordan. I bought this book to read while in the hospital for the birth of Seth and finished it on Seth's birthday but am just now sitting down to write a brief note about it.

What to say? Steve Prefontaine was the greatest american distance runner of his time and some would say of all time. In fact until recent years few Americans made a splash in the international scene. You can head over to and google his name to read more about him.

What I admire most about his story and what I thing I would have liked about him is that he had guts. When he raced he ran to win, he left it all out on the track.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dead Horse:

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians says when you discover you’re riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, in professional ministry, because of the relationships and emotional attachments involved, other strategies are often tried with dead horses, including:

Buying a stronger whip.
Changing riders.
Threatening the horse with termination.
Appointing a committee to study the horse.
Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
Reclassifying the dead horse as “living-impaired.”
Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.
Doing a time management study to see if lighter riders would improve productivity.
Declaring a dead horse has lower overhead and therefore performs better.
Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

The KELLYGRAM 12/02/07

Monday, March 24, 2008

Not Vacation: I'm taking off this week so I can be around the house so Heather doesn't go bonkers taking care of the two boys. So I'm on vacation. But it's NOT vacation because we aren't going anywhere. But don't hear that as a complaint. All ready I'm thinking so much clearer, enjoying life much more and I've felt my stress level decrease a good bit.

So here's to having a good not vacation! I've got some reading and studying I want to get done, I want to spend some time with Heather, Nathan and Seth and I need to get some stuff done around the house to get it ready to put on the market here in a few weeks. So it will be a busy week of not vacation but I'm looking forward to it.

Jacked Up: A couple of times a week Nathan and I have a time where we wrestle usually on the floor sometimes on the couch. Nathan tells me he's going to jack me up and I tell him I'm going to jack him up. I enjoy the threats from my 3 year old.

Last night we're wrestling and Nathan says "Nick is my brother." talking about me. I look at him and ask "What do you call me?" (hoping for either "Dad" or "Boss Man") He said "Pastor Nick."

He's started this thing lately where he finds it funny to call me Pastor Nick. We were at the playground the other day and he starts calling me Pastor Nick. It's always funny when he does it because I feel like suddenly all of the parent's in the playground see me in a different light. I go from wearing jeans and t-shirt to wearing old oversized pleated suit pants and a Mr. Rogers sweater in an instant.

I'm telling you now if he does it again in public he's going to get jacked up.

ps. I really like Mr. Rogers. He was a good man and actually on my short list of people I want to meet in heaven. I just needed the picture as an example.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Resurrection: I wonder what got them up and out of bed. The Bible tells us it was dawn on Sunday. There is no record that indicates to us that the disciples ever really understood the claim Jesus made that the would raise on the 3rd day. Luke tells us the woman that woke up at dawn on Easter morning were going to the tomb to bring spices to prepare the body for proper burial because of the haste Jesus was buried in on Long Friday. Matthew simply tells us that the women, Mary and the other Mary, went to look at the tomb to see where he lay.

While they were at the tomb there was a great earthquake, and the stone on the tomb was rolled away. Angels came to the women and said "he is not here, he is risen". In their surprise they ran off to tell the disciples that Jesus was risen but they weren't believed because it sounded like nonsense. Peter got up and ran to the tomb where he saw the strips of cloth that had once held the remains of Christ's broken body. He walked away wondering what had happened.

It wasn't until several days later when Jesus began to appear to the disciples (both the 12 as well as others) that they were able to grasp the idea that their Lord lived. They had the facts; the empty tomb, the visit from the angel, the strips of burial shroud but they did not see. The evidence was dependent on the revelation.

In Christ's extreme love for his friends he began to reveal himself to them. In his intense love for us Acts 1 tells us that Jesus showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. Convincing proofs we can still hold to today.

I don't want to miss the point of the resurrected Christ. The relief, the freedom, the shock the disciples must have felt to learn that their Lord truly was the son of God. That even the grave could not hold the man they followed. What Jesus claimed was true! He did it!


I also don't want to miss the insistence of Christ to reveal himself to men and women today in ways that they will embrace and believe. Christ desires to reveal himself to us; he is drastic about it.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Silent Saturday: In a moment it was over. Jesus was dead. I'm not certain the disciples slept much the night of that long friday. I have a feeling that they were feeling such great emotional pain of losing Jesus that their bodies hurt, the hurting continued until they went numb. I'm sure they wrestled with lies and doubts of the evil one. Perhaps their greatest enemy was their own regrets; their own thoughts haunting them, the "what ifs".

I wonder if some of the disciples did eventually fall into a fitful slumber. I wonder if up on waking they though to themselves "oh wait, that was all a dream" then the harsh reality that their Lord was really dead hit them and they had to endure the pain all over again.

The Gospel of Matthew tells us that at noon on the Friday Jesus was crucified that a darkness came over all the land. The light of the world was extinguished, snuffed out.

If I was asked to come up a name for the Saturday of Holy Week I would call it silent Saturday. If only they could hear Jesus' voice again. If only they could sit while he taught them. If only he was just there they would immediately be comforted by his presence. But nothing, the light was out, gone, nothing was there except haunting silence!


Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday: After the last supper with his disciples Jesus went to one of his favorite spots, a garden, to pray. The entire week before the Jewish officials were looking for a time when they could arrest Jesus but knew that the people loved him so much that they would riot if he were arrested in public. Judas, one of his own disciples told the officials that wanted Jesus dead where he was and they seized the moment to arrest him.

In the dark hours of the morning of that "Good" Friday. Jesus was unfairly accused, unfairly put through trials and found guilty based on lies. He was punished by being beaten; a punishment that took you within inches of your life.

Then after all that he was sentenced to die. GOOD FRIDAY? In some countries today is called Long Friday in China today is the Day of Christ's Suffering.

If you're like me you don't like to think about suffering. It's not pleasant and it stirs up emotions of helplessness, anger and frustration. But today, Long Friday, I believe it's appropriate and worthwhile to consider Christ's sufferings on that long Friday.


Passion Week: This week is known on church calendars as Holy Week. It's the week in the Bible that starts with Jesus entering into Jerusalem as a king on Sunday and being executed on the cross on Friday.

On the holy calendar today is Holy Thursday or, if you want to sound more brilliant in front of your friends and coworkers, Maundy Thursday. During Holy Week or Passion week Thursday was the day that Jesus gathered his disciples for what we now know as the Last Supper. He sat around the table with 11 friends and one betrayer and they ate. It was at that meal that Jesus said "this is my body which is broken for you and this is my blood which was spilt for you. When you do this remember."

Maundy is used because it's the english translation of the ceremony that Jesus did of washing the feet of the disciples upon entering the upper room. You can read more about the washing of the feet in John 13.

Jesus said "I have washed your feet even though I am your teacher and master. I am over you but I have chosen to serve you. Because I have served you, in this manner and with my life, I implore you to serve others with your love."

I pray that this act of Jesus of washing of feet is in your thoughts today. I pray that you will reflect on the idea that Christ served you with his life and that your life is meant for service as well.

Monday, March 17, 2008





Easter sermon material?

Leave me a comment with your honest opinion. No really!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

x4: Seth was born on Friday. I've been at the hospital since Friday at 6 AM with Heather and tonight I'm finally at home so I can post some pictures.

Seth Paul was born at 8:20 AM and weighed 8 lbs 6 oz. He's 19.4 inches long.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. This is the book that comes in the FPU kit but you can also order just the book. The book is an excellent walk through from the program that Dave has designed and claims to use himself.

From reading this book and beginning the application of these principles in our own lives I can tell you that it does bring financial peace. I have the privilege of watching others applying these principles to their lives and I'm seeing hopes of financial peace begin to take root. I've preached on the topic of money a few times from the pulpit but seldom had conversations with people at The Bridge about money. Let's face it. Money is private, personal and we're protective of it. We don't like others to know how we're doing and we want people to know we're doing well even if we aren't. We want the nicest cars and houses and if it means living a credit card lie we'll do it.

I've had more conversations about money in the last six weeks than I have in all my life before. I hear people bragging about their budget, paying off bills and the new financial direction they have in their life. No one has said it's easy but the courage and excitement in their voice tells me it's worth it.

FPU: FPU meets on Thursday nights but for some reason I always think to post about it on Sunday. In case you're not a follower of DAVE or the FPU lingo let me elaborate. Financial Peace University is a program designed and endorsed by Dave Ramsey. You can read about FPU at or you can take my word for it. FPU is a 13 week program about beating debt and building wealth. It's not a get rich quick scheme or any other type of scam; it's honestly just common sense packaged together. The principles are honestly so simply it's almost insulting but they are principles almost no one is living by these days.

Heather and I decided we didn't want to be normal anymore- normal being carrying a little debt a little debt here, not enough to hurt anyone but enough to keep us from reaching some financial goals we're made and ultimately reaching financial peace. We decided to offer it as a class to our church and we have about 30 people active in FPU. I've seldom been a part of a group that has shown change so quickly. I know that God is working in our hearts due to our discipline regarding money.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Things that concern me #2:

Danny Norriega from American Idol

Things that restore my hope in America: Todd Beamer and the fact that Danny got voted off last night.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Running blog: I started a new blog for my running. Didn't want to clutter this one up with something my 3 readers might not care about. If you are interested you can head over to Two Hundred and 12 and read about my running ventures.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday Blogging: I'm usually all worded out on Sundays after church so I'm not much of a Sunday blogger.

This morning as I was praying the word anticipation came to mind. So I prayed that the people of The Bridge would anticipate entering the presence of God this morning. The image came to mind of people crowded outside a door waiting for the doors to be opened. When the door are finally opened the people rush into the room to see what they've come to see. Maybe a baseball game (spring fever anyone?) or a concert of their favorite band.

I also envisioned a slightly more quiet anticipation. An anticipation that has us sitting down in the throne room of God. Sitting in reverence with our eyes fixed on the object of our worship. We're not discontent but we're looking for something. We're not antsy but we're hoping that God will change something inside of us.

That was my prayer for my church this morning and I hope that you anticipate God as well both in your church on Sunday and in your life the other six days.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Boy: Nathan has his birthday party today! He's 3 years old on Monday.

This is pre-party. He's showing us his breakfast bar, actually he's just holding it up to his face for some reason.


Here is Nathan and his buddy Wyatt. Notice Baby Jaguar in Wyatt's hand. (all you Diego fans will know where I'm coming from.) Is my boy giving you the deuce? Not quite, he's holding back a little.

And here is Nathan in his suit of armor.

Boys: Last night Wyatt came over while his mom was at the ladies meeting. Wyatt is about 10 months older than Nathan and they have a great time together. The lighting is bad but here they are jumping off the couch.