Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Real Beauty

God told Samuel to look past the external features he saw in Jesse's oldest son. Instead, God reminded Samuel that he looks at the heart of a person. But we seem obsessed with outward appearances. Here's a link to a site I've found very interesting. It might even be helpful as we help our teenage girls better understand what true beauty really is. The video really hits home about how distorted our view of beauty just might be. Thanks to Mary Beth for the link.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Enough


"I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never grow hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

" I am the living bread that come down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me."

"But everyone who drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

"My food is to do the will of him who sent me."


If I really believe Jesus is who he says he is... if I've really given my life to following him... if I say I have surrendered my life to him... If I really trust that the words he spoke above are true, then why is it that he's not always enough? Even though the things I often turn to for fulfillment always leave me empty, wanting more, why do I keep trying to find meaning and fulfillment in anything other than Christ?

My prayer is for Jesus to simply be enough.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Here's an excerpt from something I read this morning that I'm considering for the day.

"Jesus makes us uncomfortable, causes us to question our daily practices. Jesus' life reminds us of the realities of suffering, hostility, hatred and resistance that often accompany any attempts at living in truth and love."
Mark Yaconelli, Contemplative Youth Ministry

I'm not sure how much of these I've really experienced as a follower of Christ. Maybe that says something about the way I follow.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Did you know that if you buy an F series pick up truck from a dealer in Benton, you'll also get a 12-guage shot gun? I'm feeling more like I'm back home in Alaska. Instead of a 12-guage though, I'd probably get a rifle for moose hunting if this were done in Alaska.

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I have the chance to design a youth room from the studs up. I've inherited two 30x30 rooms and its my decision on how they are to be designed. Those of you who know me well know how creative I am and how interesting this will be. Let's just say I get a lot of input from Deana because I'm just way too predictable when it comes to stuff like this.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

This morning during communion I was thinking about God's amazing love for me. As I read Romans 5 several times allowing its words to penetrate I began to slowly realize that I don't love others as unconditionally as I should. I began to think of the conditions that I put on others. Here are just a few that I am coming to terms with in my life:

1. I tend to love those who dress more conservativle like I do. In other words, I'm more easily drawn toward those who look more like me.

2. I tend to love those who behave well more than those who don't. I find myself having to try harder to really connect with those who don't conform to my image of what I think is a good person.

3. I tend to love more easily those who return my love.

4. I find it easier for me to love those who agree with me more than those who make me uncomfortable with their beliefs.

Jesus died for me unconditionally. He didn't wait until I met his expecations or got my act together. Lord, help me to grow in my love for all people no matter what.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Some random thoughts

Last night Deana, Julia and I went to a children's play, Charlotte's Web. Although Wilbur looked more like a pink Easter bunny and Charlotte was a black widow the play was very cute. I love watching children in plays. They're so unpredictable. Some friends of ours had three children in the play and they were all so cute.

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Every Friday, Julia and I have a date before school. We leave about 15 minutes earlier than usual and stop by Strawn's Bakery for a donut and chocolate milk. It may not be healthy, but it's a cheap date.

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Tod, Jan and their boys are coming over tonight to experience Larry's Pizza for the first time. As my friend Lynn says, Friday night at Larry's is quite a local cultural experience. Tod and I grew up in Alaska together. After 11 years without spending any time together Tod and I now live 45 minutes apart. It's been one of the many blessings of being in this area.

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Mom's coming to visit soon. Enough said... It'll be good for her to be here. She's staying for a week. This will be her first visit to Arkansas and Little Rock Church.

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Wednesday night was awesome. Kendall, one of our juniors, shared what God has been doing in his life over the past year. It was amazing. Taylor, his brother, played guitar in worship and did an incredible job! I was so proud of those boys. One of the goals of Wednesday nights is to try to help students experience the love of Christ through each other. We were all pretty wound up and it was a light, energetic mood. I think they needed that. We were even telling jokes in the middle of the time together.

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Aren't relationships so important. It's through our relationships that we primarily learn how to love God. It's through our relationshis we seem to experience forgiveness, compassion, mercy, patience and all those other characteristics of the Spirit. Though I believe the Lord works in any way he chooses he seems to love to use our relationships to help us better understand his nature.

Friday, October 06, 2006


"We live by faith, not by sight." - St. Paul

Faith has many faces. Faith can be seen in a single mother doing all she can to raise her children and maintain a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Faith can be seen in the work place from one who chooses to be generous and compassionate rather than seek that promotion at all costs. Faith is expressed when a student is a constant encouragement to others on her cheerleading squad. Faith is expressed when a teacher can use his art to share what God is doing in his life with his students at school.

The picture above was taken at Refuge Wednesday night as Mark, an art teacher at a local high school, used an art piece he's working on to share what God is doing in his life. It was so awesome, especially because there were 1-2 people who aren't part of our church family that know him as a teacher.

What are some different faces of faith you have seen?

Monday, October 02, 2006

We had a great weekend. Julia did great in her soccer game. I was proud of the girls. We had no subs for the entire game because we were missing three teammates. They were exhausted when the game was over. Those 7-year old girls played four 10-minute quarters.

Saturday night, I got to hang with Gerald while our wives spent a night out. Gerald and I fed our kids pizza and just spent time talking. Come to find out we share similar faith journeys in that each of us has a parent with a mental disorder that has had a profound impact on our lives. Sunday we ate lunch with another couple our age who happened to be youth ministers in Baytown in years past.

Sunday, we focused on what it means to have peace in our lives. What a great thing to discuss. One thing I've learned is that peace is only experienced in the context of relationships. I may write more on this as my thoughts mature. In the meantime, God bless and pray for me.