Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"SHUT UP YOU IDIOT!" And Other Things Heard on Summer Road Trips

Yep, that's about right...

"SHUT UP YOU IDIOT!" was a phrase uttered from the back seat by one of us cousins on our annual summer four hour trip to the mountains. Inevitably we'd be at each others throats (and I don't mean figuratively). I can remember my grandmother probably wanting to kill us when she would peer into the rear view mirror with an almost plastic smile and say, "Unh, uh. I only want to hear edifying words." I didn't know what edifying words were, but what I lacked in knowledge I made up for in contextual understanding. Those glaring eyes and that plastic smile meant that if we didn't stop trying to kill each other it was only a matter of time before she would save us the trouble and take one of us out as an example to the rest.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How To Be The Best Failure You Can Be

This week has been full of bombs. I don't mean the kind that explode. I'm talking about Facebook and Battleship.

All over the web I'm seeing articles on what a disaster the Facebook IPO was. It lost something like 30% of it's value over the last few days. That's kind of a big deal. I mean, seriously, Mark Zuckerberg is only richer than the entire Gross Domestic Product of Jamaica. Poor lil' guy.

Also this week Paramount and Hasbro put a bet down on Battleship. Yeah, the movie based after the, wait for it, board game. The first time I heard about Battleship I knew it was going to be a stinker. Even the awesome shnoz of Liam Neeson couldn't save it.

Did Facebook set out to tumble downward in its first few days on the NASDAQ? No, of course not. Did Paramount and all those involved with Battleship set out to make a terrible movie? Maybe... Just kidding, of course they didn't! In both cases the goal was success.

Many times in life we have great dreams and big visions. You think it's the best idea and can't figure out why no one has thought of it before. Maybe you had a dream to be an entrepreneur and your business tanked. Or your dream was to be to be a brain surgeon, but you flunked out of med school. Those kind of failures are not only disheartening, they can also shake our faith in God.

Here are a few words of encouragement for you today. Just because you fail it doesn't mean that you aren't made for greatness. Some of the greatest people in history were serial failures.

  • Lincoln
  • Gates
  • Isaac Newton
  • Henry Ford
  • Jobs
  • Edison
  • Beethoven

And that's just a few of them. They became great because they never gave up.

Use your failures as learning experiments. Never make the same mistake twice. Move on, do better, and grow. The truth is, as long as you're on God's side you're never a failure.

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? Romans 8:31

We may lose battles. We may fail here and there, but if we're on God's side He is at ours. Ultimately will win the war.

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord, and the Lord delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be thrown down headfirst because the Lord holds on to his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

The best place to be is in God's will. If you're there and your dream is failing remember that life is full of growing moments. This is one of them and God is preparing you for something awesome. As long as you're following God you're not a failure. Don't give up!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Are you a Fan of Jesus?

In small group we've been going through a study called Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. He asks the question, "Are you a fan or a follower of Christ?" Fans of Christ are cool with Jesus. They might even really like Jesus, but they are not fully devoted to following him. Kyle encourages us to be followers of Christ rather than fans.

I don't know if you know this about me, but I like NASCAR. I know, it's super redneck, but I can't help it. Racing is awesome. Anyway, I'm a Jeff Gordon fan and this past weekend I stood in the stands cheered for him. When he wrecked I wasn't happy, but I didn't rip my garments off my chest and scream to the heavens then proceed to wear a burlap sack and cover my head in ashes. I was upset, but I wasn't in deep mourning because Jeff came in last place.

Third Lap Salute 

BUT... there are other NASCAR fans followers.

Friday, May 11, 2012

7 Ways to Train Your Kids

7) Train them to carefully select friends
The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20

6) Train them to be generous.
A generous person will be enriched, and the one who gives a drink of water will receive water. Proverbs 11: 25

5) Train them to be responsible
Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise. Without leader, administrator, or ruler, it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8

4) Train them to guard their minds
Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. Proverbs 4:23

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Parents Priority Step 2: Lead Our Families

Just having a little fun!

A Parent's priority is to gradually transfer a child's dependence away from them until it rests solely on God-Craig Groeschel

Ok... How do we transfer dependance? I'm going to give us two steps out of Deuteronomy 6.

1. Love Our God
2. Lead Our Families

These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Basically, God is saying, "In everything you do and everywhere you go I'm supposed to be in your life." God-like talk isn’t just a Sunday morning thing. It's an all the time thing. Our children have to see our Christian walk as something we are, not something we do. And if we're not the ones taking the lead on living out Christ... they usually won't. Why? Because, parents, you are the leaders of your family.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Parent's Priority Step 1: Love God

Um... Not exactly what I'm talking about, but still hilarious.

A Parent's priority is to gradually transfer a child's dependence away from them until it rests solely on God. -Craig Groeschel

How do we properly make that transfer? Step 1...

Love Our God With All We Have

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

If there is one thing I can pick up from that verse, it's that God wants every part of our lives. The word, all is used 3 times! God doesn't want a small piece of our life. He wants it all. Our children will recognize if God is a thing that we do rather than a way we live our lives. We can't expect them to live devoted to God if we're not first setting the example.

I heard a message by Craig Groeschel, the Pastor of, where he stated that it is dangerous to give our children a little bit of Christ. He argues that if God is only a part of your family identity then you're essentially immunizing your children to God's power.

Though Immunizations bring up bad memories of almost passing out as a seventeen year old at the health clinic, they also serve as a sobering illustration of what a little bit of God in our families can do. Immunizations work because the doctor gives you a little bit of the virus. Your immune system kicks in and learns how to destroy the virus, then you become immune.

Christian living isn't just a Sunday morning thing. It has to be an all day, all the time effort. If we want our children to become immune to the Gospel and immune to the radical power of Christ, give them a little bit of Jesus. Our lack of commitment to Christ sends a message to our kids that God or church is a, "Thing" we do.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Christian Perspective Movie Review: Should You See Avengers?

If you're one of the three people who haven't seen The Avengers don't feel bad. It's probably because you had a really busy weekend, or maybe you were just being a good parent and you weren't sure if it was right for your kids. I can't do anything about your busy weekend, but hopefully I can inform you on whether or not The Avengers is right for your family.

As a movie I thoroughly enjoyed The Avengers. There were zero moments where I felt bored. The whole flick is a ride. I also laughed out loud during several parts. My wife told me I was laughing so much I was embarrassing her (and it takes a lot to do that). Maybe it was just my type of humor, but I really appreciated the lightness of the film. If you've ever read and Avengers comic this movie has the same tone. Sarcastic humor mixed with intense fighting and incredibly high stakes.

The best movie Hulk ever

I was also pleased that Marvel has finally figured the Incredible Hulk out. I've seen both recent Hulk movies and I wasn't fond of either of them. Hulk was so much fun to watch. He steals the scenes he is in. And as an added bonus Hulk is not embarrassing to look at. In the two prior movies hulk fell way to deep into the uncanny valley. I don't know what they did different, but it worked!

If the only thing keeping you from this movie is whether or not it's entertaining, stop reading. Go see it.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Quitter's Can Win... You just have to do it right

I am blessed to work a job I love. That doesn't mean I always like my job, but I really do love it. There are so many different aspects.
  • Youth Minister
  • Hanging Outer
  • Landscaper 
  • Graphic Designer
  • Counselor
  • Public Speaker
  • Musician
  • Technical Support Agent
  • Social Media guy
There's more, but I think you understand. Those things keep my job as a pastor interesting. Some weeks the days fly by like surfing Stumble Upon (If you don't know what that is... good for you. It's a little like Web crack)! I find myself waking up and saying, "It's Friday already?"

I know too many people who have the opposite problem. They're stuck in a job that they don't like. They make money to fund their lives outside work. The hours of life spent at work feel a lot like death. Those people can't wait until they are off. Friday can't come quick enough. Do you relate?