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We went to Dare 2 Share a few weekends ago.  It was incredibly good.  The new format was really good.  I liked the fact that there wasn’t a “concert” this year.  There was in the sense that DJ Promote was there but it wasn’t like a concert.  This year Greg talked about THE CauseTHE Cause is simply The Great Commission renamed.  Why rename something holy and Biblical?  Because a few hundred years ago missionaries coined the term ‘the great commission’ to help mobilize people for evangelize their friends and those around them.   That’s right – those headings in your Bible weren’t inspired by God.  They were put there by men (along with the chapter numbers and verses) to make it easier to read and find things.  So the people at D2S re-labeled The Great Commission to THE Cause.  Today causes are all over Facebook.  You can now join a cause for anything – and people are.  I am constantly getting invites for a TON of worthless causes.  But what about THE Cause?  How are we doing with THE Cause – Jesus is the Christ…the saving One?

Last Friday I sent out a text to our students asking if someone wanted to go do some street evangelism with me.  I ended up taking two guys and we had a great time.  All in all we got to witness to 3 different people.  We found out one was a believer and the others were not.  While they didn’t except Christ on the spot they are actively searching out the truth of the Gospel.  That’s so great to see.

Last night one of our 7th grade guys came up to me and said,

“Hey see the new girl that came?  I want to go share the Gospel with her.  Come with me!”

So we went over and I got sidetracked by people pulling em aside to talk about some different things.  He came back over and let me know he thought she was wanting to accept Christ on the spot.  So I went over and started talking to her and she realized her need for a Savior.  So I lead her through the Gospel as a refresher and and lead her through the prayer.  What was really cool about it was seeing one of our students stepping out in faith to begin the conversation of the Gospel with someone.  It takes a lot of guts to throw the Gospel out there.  There’s always a risk of rejection.  Fortunately God had something else in store for him last night.

We devoted our night to THE Cause last night.  We are desperately trying to mobilize our teens to go the distance with the Gospel for THE Cause.  How are YOU doing at going the distance with the Gospel for THE Cause?

Seriously.  I think Newell/ Fonda should do this with their buses.  We already have the Macs in the high school and now down through the 5th grade next year.  Why not take the leap and put wifi on the school buses too?  It seems like it works for this Arizona school;

Students endure hundreds of hours on yellow buses each year getting to and from school in this desert exurb of Tucson, and stir-crazy teenagers break the monotony by teasing, texting, flirting, shouting, climbing (over seats) and sometimes punching (seats or seatmates).

But on this chilly morning, as bus No. 92 rolls down a mountain highway just before dawn, high school students are quiet, typing on laptops.

Morning routines have been like this since the fall, when school officials mounted a mobile Internet router to bus No. 92’s sheet-metal frame, enabling students to surf the Web. The students call it the Internet Bus, and what began as a high-technology experiment has had an old-fashioned — and unexpected — result. Wi-Fi access has transformed what was often a boisterous bus ride into a rolling study hall, and behavioral problems have virtually disappeared.

“It’s made a big difference,” said bus driver J.J. Johnson. “Boys aren’t hitting each other, girls are busy and there’s not so much jumping around.

Why not?

This was from halftime last night.  It always amazes me that students get so excited over this.

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I have been spending the past few days in my Proverbs journal for my devotions then I read a chapter from Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson.  I am challenged all around right now.  While Provers gives daily wisdom Wild Goose Chase is challenging my to step out of my cage and go after the God-given desires of my heart – because no one else can chase them for me….only I can chase them for myself.  It has really been a great book.  I am going to recommend it to a few people (probably loan it out)  when I get done with it.  It’s so good.  The ‘wild goose’ is the Holy Spirit which is the English translation of what the Celtic-Christians call the holy Spirit  ‘An Geadh-Glas’ which translates ‘the wild goose.’  I love Marks candor in the book.  Mark is the Pastor of the National Community Church in Washington, DC.  Once I am done with the book I will give a full review on it – but for now I don’t want to spoil the book other than to say it is good – really good.

The one thought I have really been challenged with was when Mark was talking about the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan.’  Here is what he said;

Hurry kills everything from compassion to creativity.  And when you’re in a hurry, you don’t have time to get out of your routine, do you?  No room for Spirit-led spontaneity.  No time for Wild Goose chases.  Here is the great irony: the priest and the Levite were probably on their way to the temple.  They were so busy loving God that they didn’t have time to love their neighbor.  And that is when our routines become counterproductive.  Let’s be honest.  We can get so busy doing “ministry” that we don’t have time for ministry.

This is so true.  I’ve seen it in my own life over the past 6 months.  I have been asked to do things and have become so busy doing “ministry” that I have forgotten to do ministry.  God has really been convicting me of that big time.  So I made a phone call and apologized for not being as proactive as I should have been in some things that I said I would do.  There is freedom in forgiveness and freedom in seeking forgiveness.  How have you gotten so busy doing “ministry” that you haven’t been able to do ministry or have become so STUCK in your routine and so GUARDED with your time that you have blocked things that God wants for you?  I know I have but I am trying hard to undo those things.

I am looking forward to journaling through Proverbs and finishing the Wild Goose Chase over the coming weeks.  There is something more satisfying than pursuing spiritual fitness than physical.  Without both we will die though – that’s something to think about.

I joined our gyms ‘Winter Meltdown’ this past week.  It’s a 12 week contest to lose weight and get in shape for summer.  The winner gets the entry fees from four different Anytime Fitness clubs in the area.  Honestly even if I don’t win I’m already a winner.  It will definitely help keep me motivated to drop the rest of the weight I want to lose by summer.  I’m down another 4lbs this week.  That’s pretty exciting for me.

What’s even more exciting is pursuing God the way He wants me to.

haiti: my response

When I heard the news of the earthquake in Haiti I couldn’t believe it.  An earthquake so severe that some are even calling it ‘apocalyptic’ of nature.  There is no doubt that it is bad.  Then this morning they were rocked with another earthquake of a 6.1 magnitude.  This little nation is just getting hammered – hard right now.  The pictures are just devastating.  So many people have lost their lives.  So many families impacted forever.  Missionaries have fled from Haiti because of fear.  Some are saying this is Haiti’s judgment from God for being a nation of voo doo and not worshiping God.   Others are getting mad at some who are vocally outspoken in saying that.  If we carefully read through the OT we know God judges nations who turn from him or who never acknowledge him.  In Romans we know God says he turns people over to their desires sometimes.  These are tough passages in times of devastation like what is going on in Haiti.

Here’s my thought: God has set the stage for His Gospel (a message of hope) to go in to Haiti to reach this little nation.  Lately I have been feeling a tug at my heart for Haiti – it’s devastation but also the brokenness of the people there.  I don’t know that God is calling me to do anything more than pray for Haiti.  I do know in the past couple of days I have had a few conversations of going to Haiti in the future to help with relief/ rebuilding.  Each of these were unprovoked by me.  I was approached.  I can’t say for sure God is calling me to go but the more I think about it the more I want to go.

Still I’m not sure it’s God saying, “Go.”  I do know this – I will continue to pray about it and ask some questions.  Maybe find a good ministry to volunteer through if God opens that door.  God calls some of us to give money and some of us to go and do physical labor and help to share the Gospel.  The thing is that whatever God calls us to is no more important than the other.  It’s about being a good steward of what He is calling you to do with your time and resources.

What is God calling you to do for Haiti or for your local church?  Maybe it’s pray.  Maybe it’s send money.  Maybe it’s go.  Whatever it is He is calling you to be a good steward of that.

rock what you got

Secretly…I really like this song.

Last week every time i ran into someone from Bethel they would say things like, “Hey that was a great article on you in the paper” or “You must be really proud” or “You’re doing such a great job.”  Every time I would politely say “Thank you” and wonder to myself, “What is going on?”  Back in November one of my students interviewed me for a paper he had to write at school.  What he didn’t realize was that they would be published in the local newspaper for all to see.  He was almost as shocked as I was.  I can’t find the article online so I thought I would post it here.  I’ve never had this happen before so I think it’s pretty cool and it’s a HUGE encouragement.


People With An Impact by Matt Baughman

A frantic student reaches for his cell phone hoping someone will care about the things he has just gone through. He flips through the contact list for someone who knows what really is going on. He anxiously goes through the list two or three times until a name catches his attention. He empties his heart into the message including the maximum amount of short hand possible and he still doesn’t have room for everything he needs to get out. He thinks about sending another message to get the rest out, but a message comes back almost instantly saying the other person will be right there. The student feels a sigh of relief go through his exhausted body. Finally somebody will listen to him.

This situation is not an uncommon occurrence for a youth pastor. Most youth pastors will meet with a student at any time of the day if there is a situation that needs to be dealt with. Very few can relate to a student’s problems like Chris Day. Growing up as a kid who didn’t fit in with any particular group of kids, Chris was picked on for most of his student life. This background and other events in his life have lead Chris into being an easy person to dump problems onto. There isn’t much that students go through that Chris hasn’t worked with in his ten plus years of being a youth pastor.

Spilling your heart to Chris can be a very uplifting experience. He can hold a lot on his huge shoulders. Having a background in powerlifting has made him physically strong, but things in his past and his strong faith have made him very emotionally strong. Looking at Chris, anybody would think he was a person they do not want to mess with, be he truly dislikes preconceptions about him. While he understands the reasons for people’s feelings, he does not like to hear people have negative feelings about him. When asked if he agrees with the preconception that his feelings are different than someone smaller than him he said, “It is really not true at all. I think judging people on appearances is one of the weaknesses that we fall to within our culture. We always seems to judge every book by its cover, and we do the same with people in general. i think the preconception that because I am a big strong guy and that I don’t have the same feelings as any other person is really too bad for those who choose to not get to know me. Once you get to know me, you find out that I am really sensitive, maybe even more sensitive than most.”

Getting to know Chris this past year, by spending a lot of time with him, this statement is completely true. There have been times where I have seen his softer side come out in heavy doeses. Everytime this happens, the level of respect I have for him increases. He has been the strongest influence on my life since he moved to Newell. Chris has one of the biggest hearts that a person will ever see. When a member of our church is sick or in the hospital, Chris is one of the first people to go visit them and offer encouragement. This is not because he feels obliged because of his job in the church, but he genuinely wants to visit congregation members. “I have always had a deep compassion for people in general. I realized my love/ passion for students when I was a junior in high school. My love for students was finally cemented when I was a sophomore in college and felt the call to go into full-time ministry to students,” said Chris.

After a few hours of getting thing off his chest the student finally feels that someone cares about his problems. He knows that when he has a problem, Chris is just a few seconds away.

I was blown away to read it.  I am humbled and baffled that I could have such an impact.  This is the legacy I want to leave.

I am excited about a few things:

  • we have had one or 2 students complete B90X with me and we are starting it again
  • I am going to start journaling as I spend time reading through Proverbs for my personal study time
  • things are going really well both physically and ministry wise right now

I started this new series after completing my goal of losing 100lbs.  So why a new series and not just continuing the journey to 100?  Since I have completed my goal I thought it was time for something new and something that focuses on the spiritual and not just the physical…bot or hugely important and spiritual health is way more important than physical health.  Don’t get me wrong physical health is very important but spiritual health trumps it.  It would be easy to think I’m all about fun and games and physical accomplishments but I’m really not.  While I like to have fun and love accomplishing things physically I enjoy a good theological conversation far more.  I always have hands down.  So I’m hoping to bring that to the mix this time around as well.

I worked out hard this week but I don’t think I ate enough and so it’s reflected in my weigh-in this week.  Overall though things are going really well working out.  I crave going to the gym now.  I used to look forward to going to the gym and it’s now one of my favorite things to do again – which I am excited about!

Stats…

Last update: 290
This week: 286

4 pounds is 4 pounds and I’m proud of it.  Down one more notch on the belt again.  It has definitely been a confidence booster.  I’m looking forward to summer – I’m hoping to be lighter than I was as a sophomore in college.  I’m glad to be able to be a better steward of the temple God has given me – spiritually and physically.

I have been wanting to keep updating my blog audience of my progress with my getting back into shape.  Since I completed my goal of losing 100lbs I didn’t want to keep blogging about my journey to 100.  So I have been giving it some thought lately and I’ve decided to blog once a week, or every other week, about living healthy both spiritually and physically.  I will still be giving updates on weight-loss but I am also planning on sharing Scriptural thoughts on living healthy spiritually.  I have no idea what it’s going to look like yet – but this is a new series for 2010 and I’m sure it will develop through the year as I go.

My goal for fitness this year is to drop another 60lbs from where I’m at then re-evaluate how I feel/ where I’m at and go from there.  Spiritually I am planning on doing the B90X program a few times this year.  I would like to do it through at lest twice.  I’m really looking forward to that actually.

So here’s where I’m at physically:

Last update: 298
This week: 290

Total: 111 (since January 17 2009)

I feel really good about the 8 pound drop.  My last update was about 3 weeks ago.  The week of New Years Eve I went back to my parents and ate…and ate…I did ok but man I ate a ton.  This past week I’ve been sick with the flu and an abscessed tooth so I’ve just mainly had soups all week.  I love soup but I am really looking forward to moving away from soup this next week.

So here we go on a new year long series of living healthy: spiritually and physically.