Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Breaking Good: How "Breaking Bad" Taught Me Something About God

Allie and I have been watching Breaking Bad. If you don't know, it's about a brilliant high school chemistry teacher named Walter White who gets lung cancer. He doesn't have the money to pay for treatment so he turns to cooking meth (Seems really brilliant, sike). Everything goes absolutely crazy from there.

He finds pleasure in power and by season 6 he sees himself as king of kings. As you can see by the trailer above he has a bit of a god complex. Others in the show find pleasure in the meth he cooks. It's the purist around. Junkies crave it. He can't make enough of it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Was Saved at Three... Or Was I? (Should we Evangelize Children?)

I've been taking a class on evangelism and missions. Because of this I've been thinking about evangelism a lot and particularly how it relates to children. Child evangelism is a subject that is close to my heart, and I think it'll make more sense if I tell you my story, err, testimony.

I grew up in a super Christian home. My mom tells me about how I was in church the first Sunday after I was born. She played the piano and my dad led the youth and music. We went to church every Sunday. Since the day of my birth I could count the Sundays I have not been in church on two hands (That's less than 10). I was presented with the Gospel at a very early age.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My 3 Year Old Sons Was Meditating on Katy Perry

Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 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 upBind 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 6:4-9

"'Baby you're a firework!' Daddy, are you a firework?" was asked by my son Quentin yesterday. I had to laugh and then try to explain to him that the "firework" was metaphorical... I lost him at meta. We're not big Katy Perry fans. No, let me say that another way, we're not Katy Parry fans at all. Yet somehow Quentin knows the firework song. He doesn't know who sings it, but he does know a lot of the lyrics and knows that it's off Madagascar 3.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

$2600 Dollars and All I Got Was This Rasta Banana

"Henry Gribbohm says he lost his life savings, $2600, on a carnival game. And all he has to show for it is this stuffed banana with dreadlocks." That is probably the greatest line to ever be said on a news cast. Ever!

When I watched this video the only thing that crossed my mind was that this guy is an idiot. I can totally understand spending $2600 on a carnival game, but he looks so stupid walking around town with that banana....... Ok I'm kidding. This guy is the definition of a fool. What kind of person doesn't KNOW carnival games are rigged. When you ride the sky line ride over the fair, look down at the basketball hoops. They are shaped like toilet seats, and I mean the long handicap type.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Oops, I Never Really Explained What the "Sinner's Prayer" Is

I realized after last week's post about the Sinner's Prayer I never really explained what this Sinner's Prayer was. I assumed many people knew the Christianese term. I was wrong. So, I'm going to succinctly try to lay out the most widely understood idea of the Sinner's Prayer.

There is no exact way to present a Sinner's Prayer. It's not a specific scripture, and some would argue that it's not even a Biblical concept. I disagree with the idea that it's not a Biblical concept and talked about that last week's post. So what is it?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ramen Noodles And Why The Sinner's Prayer Is Sending You To Hell

I love ramen noodles, but I'm not so much a fan of the broth. Usually I cook up my noodles and then dump most of the broth out into the drain. Inevitably I dump a few noodles out with the broth, but of course I don't dump out all the noodles with the broth. That wouldn't make sense.

Recently I've seen a backlash against the "Sinner's prayer." Through a little research I've found that this denouncement isn't new. It has been going about in certain circles for a long time. It wasn't until the passed year or so that I really started seeing tweets, status updates, and blogs calling it out. I'm probably behind the curve on this, but as always I write about what is currently on my heart.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Sin Creep

Months before Allie and I were to be married I let a big issue creep into my life. It was my little secret, and it was causing me a lot of pain. Finally I decided I was going take care of the problem. Allie and I talked it over and eventually I had a guy help me through the issue.

About a year ago I noticed the problem was creeping back. I needed to do something about it, but I never took the initiative. Finally Allie said, "ENOUGH!" She made the phone call I was dreading. It took until last week for me to finally face my problem.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Cross Movement: Cross Culture's Student Ministry

It should be noted this logo is still in beta form... it has not been finalized.

I’m so excited about everyone who has volunteered to work with the Student ministry. If you’re wondering why I haven’t got in touch with a lot of you guys, I’ve been swamped with midterms. All that’s going to change. Look for emails and Facebook messages soon. We’re going to impact this city for Christ!

Speaking of this city, I was moved by the song we sang Sunday, “God of This City.” It’s a powerful anthem that gets us focused on our home town (Yeah, I’m new, but it’s now my town too). Today on the radio I heard that Raleigh is the number 1 growing city in the nation. Let that sink in for a moment. Since 2000 Raleigh has grown 50%. Wow. All these new people mean more opportunities to share our faith.

As you know, if you were at church a couple of Sundays ago, reaching people for Christ is one of the main purposes of Cross Culture’s Student Ministry. In fact, I said that everything we do will be bent towards evangelism. I’m so excited about the opportunities we have to do this. Everything we do in Cross Cultures Student Ministry comes down to the C.R.O.S.S.

C- Connect: We are going to connect our students with each other, and with other non-believing students. The goal is that people will become followers of Christ and that those new followers and current students will grow in Christ.

R- Reach: This is evangelism. We want to reach the friends, families, and co-workers of our students with the Good News of God’s salvation! We can’t stop, we can’t give up.

O- Offer: We have the amazing opportunity to come before God and worship Him. We do this through songs, scripture reading, prayer, and the way we live our lives.

S- Supply: We teach and prepare our students for living life and winning their friends to Christ. Life is a tough journey, they’re going to need supplies.

S- Serve: This is where we serve our community. It’s showing the love of God in a practical way. It’s how people see that we really do love Christ. Service is essential.

Our Student Ministry exists to CONNECT students so the can REACH their non-believing friends, while we’re OFFERING our lives to God daily we SUPPLY students to live Christ out and SERVE our community.

Welcome to the Cross Movement.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Thank You To Oceanside Church

Oceanside, thank you so much for your generous scholarship! I know that none of you are rich, and some of you gave out of what you don't have. For that, I am blessed, honored, and humbled.

As you all know moving isn't cheap and your gifts specifically went to pay my tuition this month. Your money is already at work. Because of when I started the process of going to school I missed many of the deadlines for scholarships, but God always provides. This time He has used you.

Pastor Trey says that God doesn't have a printing press in the sky dumping enough money to cover the needs of his people. We are His printing press! God opens the windows of Heaven and pours out blessings through his people. We help, work, pray, and give to the needs God has placed on our hearts. Thank you for listening to God, and having a passion for the ministry God wants to use me and the whole family for.

Preaching at our Reality Youth Service

I would also like to ask for your continued prayer. After a week and a little bit, as you would expect, we're still getting adjusted. It's so strange being away from family and friends, but God has blessed us with a good church in Cross Culture. There are lots of welcoming people and loving hearts. Also, pray for my endurance, and strength as I take on seminary. Midterm is upon me. Pray for the family too as they put up with me at midterm.

We love and miss you guys, and may God's richest blessings be upon you.

Ps: I'm working really hard so that your gifts aren't wasted! Got to keep those grades up.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Children's Bill of Rights

A lot of what I talked about yesterday comes from Dr. John Rosemond. Anyway, he has some great resources over at his website.

This is a hilarious list that is chocked full of truth, laugh and enjoy!
  1. Because it is the most character-building, two-letter word in the English language, children have the right to hear their parents say “No” at least three times a day.
  2. Children have the right to find out early in their lives that their parents don’t exist to make them happy, but to offer them the opportunity to learn the skills they will need to eventually make themselves happy.

Friday, February 22, 2013

This is Goodbye Oceanside

Our First Youth Group

My years at Oceanside have been some of the best years of my life. I have been a part of Oceanside church since its inception. This is also the longest I've ever been at a single church. Through the years I've met many life long friends that I've had the privilege of serving the Lord along side. I'm going to miss them all very much.

When God told me to go to seminary I wasn't sure what that meant. It was going to be a MASSIVE life change. I needed a job. I needed a place to live. I needed a school. You can read more about that process of trust and faith in this former blog.

God came through (imagine that?)! I have a school. I have a place to live. I have a job. Some hear me say that, "God came through" and ask, "Well it all just works out for some people." That would never happen to me." And I don't want to off sounding like I didn't work to accomplish any of those things. God worked through me to get them done. Over the past year Allie and I have prayed hard, but we've also worked hard. In my first round of sending out my resume I sent it out to 8 different churches. I applied to be everything form a senior pastor to a choir director.

Our first youth camp... only 9 of those people are ours. I have no idea why the rest of them are in the picture. 

In the end only one church called me back, and they are awesome. When I said I got a job, I meant I got a great job. I'm going to be the Student Minister at Cross Culture Church in Raleigh, NC. Head over to their website and check them out. When I walked into Cross Culture for the first time I felt at home. They're a great church that loves the Lord, loves people, and wants to see those far from God come to Him.

With every job there are going to be challenges. I'm not saying everything is going to be perfect, but I am saying that I truly believe God was in this whole thing. I'm excited to work beside Pastor Clay, the youth, and the members of Cross Culture.

Camp Kinetic 2012

Oceanside will always hold a special place in my heart. It's where I cut my teeth on ministry. It's where I learned to walk in ministry. It's where I learned to run and jump (And fall through ceilings) in ministry. I love you guys, and will continue to love you. Keep serving the Lord! Don't slow down.

I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it. Philippians 3:12-16

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Was Called a Pharisee, Is That A Bad Thing?

The cool Pharisee

Let's get this out in the open: Jesus wasn't too fond of the Pharisees. Anyone who just finished reading the gospels with Oceanside knows that. Jesus called the Pharisees Sons of Hell, white washed tombs, and vipers. Those aren't names you want Jesus calling you. The Pharisees had some major problems (like killing Jesus), but maybe all of them weren't all bad.

You see, the other day I was talking with a friend about a particular belief, and this friend called me a Pharisee. Couldn't he have just called me satan? That really bothered me. I argued my point, but the whole time the name Pharisee rang through my head, because I equated them with the things I mentioned above. I was highly offended, but also a bit ignorant.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

100th BLOG!: I'm leaving SC, and Many Want To Know Why. It's All About The Mud.

Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light. -Raymond Edman

I'm using my 100th blog to say very publicly that I'm moving to Wake Forest, NC to go to seminary full time on campus. Many people already know what's going on, but I thought I'd let everyone in on the story of how all this came about.

Though most people found out recently I didn't wake up three weeks ago and say with my best king impression, "I do here by decree that I am going to seminary full time in the spring." It was a decision that happened a little over a year ago. I was listening to a sermon podcast from Elevation Church, and to be honest I can't remember the topic, but I clearly remember the Holy Spirit speaking to me. He said that it was time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Obama Supporters Tip Better Than The Other Guys

There are two things you don't talk about unless you want people to get in an argument: politics and religion. Well, today I'm kind of going to talk about both. This isn't anything about who is right or who is wrong, but mainly about my perception of the people who supported candidates in this past election.

Tips are a big deal for a pizza guy. Almost any delivery driver conversation heard at a pizza place has to do with how much someone did or didn't tip them. It's common to judge a person by how much they tip. Notoriously bad tippers are scum in the eyes of most delivery drivers.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Give Away Everything

I'm thankful to the Lord for the great response to the sermon last Sunday. I think the message was so affective because I was preaching to me more than anyone else. If you missed it, here is Oceanside's Church On Demand podcast.

I've had several people come up to me and say, "In America we're just not able to sacrifice." I guess the assumption is that we have it too good. We have too much. We're too rich to actually sacrifice.