Not many things scare me.  This does.  Seriously, Cloverfield is real.  

Ok, that is all, for now.


tuesday thought drops

I read blogs from pastors all over the place who write out Sunday mind dumps. 

I have decided to do Tuesday thought drops.  

Here are some for today:  

  • I have been reading the Shack for a week or so.  Honestly, I don’t like it.  Not well written.  People need to stop promoting it, seriously.  
  • I seriously love That 70s show.  I know Mike is trying to get me to watch Scrubs but not yet. 
  • We had our leadership retreat the past two days.  We went to an exotic place – Mike’s house.  It was actually really good.  I had no desire to do anything though.  We talked a lot and played cards, but in between sessions, others wanted to get out and do something while I just wanted to read a book or chill.  
  • The other 3 books I am reading are quite good, so far.  A Short History of Christianity. Odd Thomas. Worship Matters.  
  • If you haven’t heard this song, there is no hope for you because you truly are not in the right circles.  I watched the story and the song today and honestly I just wept.  I don’t know what it is about it, but that song just hits me to the core every time.  It really takes me on a journey of worship and then completely breaks me in half. 
  • I have most of my stuff moved out of the house.  I only have to pack up a little bit more and then throw away a bunch of stuff.  Friday is so close. 
  • I hate weed-eating and we have to do it this week at the church.  Oh, the sacrifices we make for the kingdom of God. 
  • God has been hitting me with all kinds of conviction recently.  
  • “Reminding ourselves of the gospel is the most important daily habit we can establish.  If the gospel is the most vital news in the world, and if salvation by grace is the defining truth of the our existence, we should create ways to immerse ourselves in the these truths every day.  No days off allowed.”  – C.J. Maheney
  • I am sure you know this statistic but we always need to be reminded of great truths.  If you make more than a $1 a day, you are richer than 95% of the world. 
  • Tuesday thought drops are done.  

speaking about speaking

It is odd speaking on a Sunday.  I have only done so two or three times before.  And for some reason, it seems so much more nerve-racking.  I wasn’t really nervousness.  It was just an odd feeling.  

Oh well, that is life.  

I felt really good about it other than me saying certain things that I didn’t even realized I said.  Some of you know what I said.  I don’t wish to embarass myself here.  So let’s just say that certain words sound different when I speak them out loud.

camping in the house

Ok, we moved some stuff out yesterday.  I had a truck so I wanted to move all of the big stuff out of my room.  It is all gone.  Dressers (yeah I have two – weirdo).  Shelves.  Desk.  And bed.  I didn’t want to be one of those guys who rides down the road with a mattress tied to the top of his car. 

So because I didn’t have a bed, I slept in a sleeping bag on the floor.  It was quite good actually.  I had some of the best sleep that I have had in a long time. 

Makes me think – how much stuff do I really need? 

Let’s put this in perspective.  I don’t have a bed in my room and I got along fine.  What else can I be ok without? 

What else can you be ok without?

things I wish Jesus never said

I am speaking this week at the Patio and it is quite frustrating.  At least so far.  By the way, it is frustrating in ways  which you are probably not going to think. 

It is frustrating because it is hitting me.  Hitting me in the teeth.  Pounding on my rib-cage.  Waiting to burst forth from my heart.  

We are in the middle of a series free-for-all right now.  We had three weeks open because of a change of plans and Mike decided to do a series called, “Things I wish Jesus never said.”  

There are so many things that I wish he didn’t say.  The big one for me is “love your neighbor as yourself.”  I don’t know how to live this one out in any sense of the word.  

But I have been trying to discern what to speak on and God has been blowing me away.  Come Sunday and listen.

the last 10

I get asked all the time about what I am reading.  Probably because I read all kinds of different things.

So here are the last 10 books I read: 
1) Inside Steve’s brain – Leander Kahney 
     This was a great book about discovering how to work out your creativity.  I thoroughly recommend it in order to get sparked by so many different things.  The first sentence in the book hit me hard.  It said, paraphrased, ‘Steve Jobs spends as much time working on the packages that his gadgets go in as he does developing the gadget itself.'”  

2) Your first two years in youth ministry – Doug Fields
     “I loved the Purpose-Driven youth ministry by Fields and this one is very good as well.  It really gives great insights for those starting in youth ministry like myself.”  

3) On Church Leadership – Mark Driscoll  
     “This is a short book.  Really short.  Straight to the point and it is a part of the “a book you actually read” series.  I loved the chapters on elders and women in ministry especially because I had never really analyzed them that much and he gave great insights into the aspects of leadership that I had never even considered.”

4) The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller
     “So this one is not necessarily a book, but it is a great graphic novel.  I had never really considered it before but with the Dark Knight coming out this month, I thought I should check it out.  I definitely don’t regret that decision.  I loved reading this comic.  I haven’t read a comic in about 5 or 6 years and this one makes me want to start back.  As a friend told me recently, ‘Comics don’t get old, people do.’ Well spoken.”

5) Vintage Jesus – Mark Driscoll
     “I used to not like Driscoll that much but he started following me on twitter.  Or somebody with his name did.  No seriously, I used to not like him because of how harsh and unloving I thought he was.  This was mainly because I was a pansy and I didn’t want to say the harsh things.  Driscoll has since been hitting me between the eyes with truth.  This book was good.  Not great.  Good only because I have heard the things he talked about before, and mostly in a better written format.”

6) Angels & Demons – Dan Brown
     “I must say that I loved the Davinci Code book.  Yep, I am Christian too.  Paradox?  Maybe, I leave that up to you.  Just remember that Dan Brown writes fiction.  Reading this one was good.  I love controversial things so I thought this one would be great.  It wasn’t that controversial at least to me.  But Dan Brown is an entertaining writer and I needed an entertaining read so this was a perfect choice.”

7) Wide Awake – Erwin McManus
“Few writers spark me to pursue God more on a consistent basis.  McManus does it every time.  He usually hits on the same themes though – we are to be dreamers for God.  But he always knocks it out of the park.  I really enjoyed being reminded of my dreams for God.  Don’t read this with the expectation of fresh ideas, at least if you have read McManus’ other books.  Read it with an expectation of remembrance of what we should be doing.”  

8 ) On Writing – Stephen King 
     “I was haunted by this book before I read a word.  For some reason, every time I saw this book, I knew that it would hit me in the teeth.  The first time I saw it was on Steven Furtick’s blog.  I knew I had to read it.  I didn’t know why but I knew.  This book made me remember the power of stories.  It made me realize the virtues of hard work.  It put me a desire to live out my dreams and not settle for less.  I recommend this book more than any other book over the past year or so.  Honestly, ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to write a book.  I don’t know if that will ever happen but this book put that dream back in my heart.  It also made me want to read fiction again.  I hadn’t read a fiction book in like 3 years before this one.  Go now and get this and read it.”  

9) The Attributes of God – A.W. Tozer
     “I honestly need to read books by Christians from previous generations.  They had the faith that I want to have.  They believed bigger than most Christians these days and they were convicting in all of their writings.  They held nothing back.  This was also a book I knew I had to read.   I loved how high a view of God Tozer had.  It completely destroys my low-view of God (mainly one that prays for God to do things that we could do ourselves).  This makes me want to dream for 3,000 to come to Christ in one day.  3,000 to come to Him not just through a one-time prayer but through faith that brings about a revival throughout the world.  A revival of love and justice that spreads to every town that those 3,000 come into contact with.”  

10) the Discipline of Grace – Jerry Bridges
“Honestly, I didn’t really like this one.  It was ok.  I loved the slogan on the back cover – ‘your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace.  And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.’  I also liked how he talked about our part in our journey in God.  But I don’t think it was very well written.  However, I do remember how influential Bridges was in my early walk with God by his book, The Pursuit of Holiness.” 

Ok, that is the last 10.  Next 10 someday.  I have been devouring books lately – so I expect it soon.  

Oh, just so you know, one way I read books quite fast is because I read about 5 or 6 at a time.  Definitely not recommended for everyone but I get bored and uninterested easily and I find this is the best way to keep sparking my interest.  The really good books I read quickly (in one or two sittings).  At least, if I can comprehend them quickly.

be a packrat

I hate moving.  

Over the next few days, I will be moving from the best place that I have ever lived.  It stinks.  But we can’t afford it.  So, time to move on.  

I have been sensing a lot of changes that have been taking place in my life recently.  A lot of those things are me being reminded of what I should be doing in the first place.  And some other things will be so new to me.  

In other words, some things are fresh, while most are old.  

On another note, I have been thinking about how I have to move, and honestly, I am dreading it.  I am not looking forward to packing up my stuff and moving to a new place, or maybe an old place revisited.  It is hard to do that.  But oh well.  

But in all of the hardness of the next week (doing the thing I hate doing the most – moving), I am going to be able to look at what I have and honestly evaluate what do I really need.  There are so many things I have that I am going to keep but I don’t need them on a daily basis.  I don’t need all my books with me.  I don’t need all my movies.  I don’t need all the papers that I keep from sermons I have heard and notes I have taken in classes that I deem worthy of keeping.  Some things are better left for a storage unit.  Those things are the items that I will need to pick up later on.  Maybe.  

I don’t need them right now, but I might need them sometime.  Soon perhaps, but I will know where they are so I can pick them up in my time of need.  

I think that this is a great insight for my spiritual life – some things are needed everyday (reading your word, spiritual disciplines, prayer, close relationships, etc…), but other things are needed too, just at different times (thoughts on theology, friendships from the past that could bring encouragement, all of my quirky items that I love to hold onto – such as little random trivia, etc…).  

This reminds of the one thing that God has been showing me recently.  I need to keep a tab of what I am doing.  Not necessarily a list of items that I accomplished but a journal of the big things, which could be small things.  

This is an insight for me from just the thought of moving.  I still hate getting started.

In regards to your spiritual life, be a packrat.  Keep everything that God teaches you close by.  You never know when that knowledge will be beneficial to you.