Monday Morning Reflections

I don’t like saying this out loud–it’s kind of like praying for patience, but I feel like God is really sifting me right now. He is really shaking me to the core of who I am to see if I will follow Him.

I don’t think I realized how influenced by the culture I am. As a sociology major (Quick, how do you get a sociology major off your porch? . . . pay for the pizza!) I realize that we ARE at some point a product of our environment. But what about the fact that God calls us to not be conformed to the patterns and culture of this world? The way I grew up in church, it seemed that verse was easy–dang heathens “out there” “in the world.” Just stay away from “the world” and “the worldly” and you will be fine. But what if Paul was indeed talking about culture–but that there is more to culture than just “the world out there?” What if I can be negatively influenced by a “church” culture that is not necessarily sin, but isn’t Biblical?

I have been wrestling with God lately (and losing–see Jacob in Genesis 32) about what is cultural and what is Biblical in my worship, my “Christian life.” How quickly we get into the routine of doing Spiritual things because “we’ve always done it that way before.” Read more

Who would you rather be??

It is a sad day indeed when the top 3 of 5 stories on SportCenter are concerning major controversies in three different professional sport leagues. NBA Commissioner, David Stern, has his hands full with a Chicago “Black Sox” controversy with an official betting on games he was calling. MLB commissioner, Bud Selig is dealing with the most cherished record in arguably all of sports . . . 755 home runs . . . being broken by a guy that is suspected to use steroids. Pay me now or pay me later, Bud. But the problem is we are all paying. Alex Rodriguez can’t get to 755 or more fast enough!! And finally, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has Michael Vick, QB of the Atlanta Falcons caught up in a dog fighting ring that is probably going to end up in serious jail time!

So the questions is . . . Who would you rather be? David Stern, Bud Selig, or Roger Goodell. Better get some antacid boys, it’s going to be a long fall!

Back from Kid’s Camp 2007–1 vs. 99!

We made it back yesterday from Kid’s Camp up at beautiful downtown Roach, MO at Windermere. We really had a great group of kids that went, 64 kids total. There were at least 5 decisions for Christ over the week and several more decisions to follow Christ in obedience in baptism! Praise God! That is why we do what we do–in order for Christ to change lives!

The theme was “The Game Show of Life: The Great Commission.” There were three main teaching times. The first was on the parable of the Lost Sheep told by Jesus. Read more

Moving Experience

Just helped Larry and Marsha Wofford move this evening. They had been on the mission field in South Dakota for 23 years! Gettin’ it done for 23 years. It was amazing to see some similarities on that truck with moving trucks that I have had before. Being a pastor and professor, Larry had a ton of books.? I would hate to have to box up all my books again.? I have need for more bookshelves in my office already–just think of 23 or more years of ministry.? I began thinking of all of the stuff that one, or two, might obtain and collect of the course of a lifetime. More stuff than you could really fit in a U-Haul, I bet. You would have to give away a bunch. Get $2 at a garage sale for some more. Guilt your kids into taking that which you don’t want (just kidding mom!–not really)! I think that is why my grandparents never moved from their little general store converted house in Cabool. It took several years for my mom and her siblings to sort out all of their stuff.

There is part of me that would love to move. The smell of fresh paint and carpets. The excitement of a new place. The little things that “the next house will be different” that will be–well, different. But then again, I might have to get rid of a bunch of junk that I don’t want to get rid of. Sounds like a lot of work that I’m not willing to do.

Isn’t that the way life is?? I sure would love to have (insert item).? I wish I was in shape more.? I wish my debts were paid off.? I wish . . . ? But honestly, I’m not really willing to sacrifice my stuff in order to do it.? I am that way with my Christian life as well.? I want to be more like Christ, but most of the time am not willing to part with my stuff.? Baggage really.? Some of it is really dark stuff.? But most of it is simply stuff . . . not necessarily bad stuff, but not the BEST stuff for me to have and walk closer to Jesus.? Maybe I need to load up the truck and it’s moving day!

Welcome Farkleberry’s

My friend Brad Daily has a post about Gary and Fran’s new store that is now open in Nixa–Farkleberry’s.? Go and check out the “unique gifts” for your unique self!? Good luck Gary and Fran!

Out the Door

Jenny and I and the boys are headed down to Big Cedar Lodge tonight for a couple of days.? We had a sweet couple give us a couple of nights of their time share as a ministry to us.? It should be a lot of fun and hopefully some quality time with the boys before we head off to Kids Camp this next weekend without them.

Had a great staff meeting this morning.? Gearing up for the fall.? I am really excited about the potential lives that are going to be changed with KidStuf as well as some great ministry opportunities in the works.

Sunday Night Ramblings

  • Had a great day at church today!
  • We talked about Communion and took the Lord’s Supper together.
  • The band sounded really good today!
  • Chris Jones (a.k.a. Vinny) talked about Aug. 9th KidStuf Kickoff. . . totally pumped about the KidStuf ministry–where kids bring their parents to church!
  • Lily Hatley was at church for the first time! Congrats Chris and Becky and big sister Kenzie!
  • Baptism was great at the girls’ pool. Thanks again ladies!
  • The picnic at the Lake Springfield park was hot . . . really hot! Lots of fun stuff . . . frisbees, footballs, and little bity motorcycle rides for the kids (thanks Nicolas!) The kids really loved riding the motorcycle with you. I told Taylor to enjoy it because we are NEVER getting you one!
  • There was a family of deer on the way up to the pavilion yesterday.? There were three little fawns, couldn’t have been more than a couple of months old.? You reserve the deer as well as the pavilion on that kind of deal!? Spared no expense to have them working like that on Sunday!
  • Mark Wofford’s mom and dad celebrated their last Sunday on the field on the Lakota Sioux reservation in South Dakota today! They come “back home” to Springfield this week. Pray for them! 23 years of ministry to the Lord brings many mixed emotions I’m sure. I am really looking forward to meeting them this week.
  • Cleaned out the van this evening. Man, having two boys really puts wear and tear on that thing! The exploding Cherry Limade and Sprite “straw through the bottom of the cup ordeal” on vacation made for some “pretty” stains on the carpet.
  • Taylor and I caught a few minutes of Ice Road Truckers this evening. Not near as cool as Deadliest Catch or Dirty Jobs, but pretty cool nonetheless.
  • I could watch the Rollofs pretty much all day. Caught a few minutes of the Little People, Big World marathon this afternoon flipping between them and the NASCAR race.
  • Man, I watch WAY too much TV at night!!
  • Looking forward to leading worship with Jenny at Kid’s Camp this next weekend! Not looking forward to the sleep deprivation and being away from the boys and sleeping in a room with someone else’s boys!
  • Heading to Big Cedar Lodge tommorow night! We got a couple of nights given to us to enjoy as a family. This couple have a cool ministry called “Green Pastures”and seeks to minister to people by giving away timeshare nights so people can have Psalm 23 rest and sabbath. Very cool. Lazy river, here we come!!
  • Haven’t slept very well the last couple of nights. I’m going to sleep well tonight! I hope!

God Said “No”

Got this from one of our folks today. Thought it was really good. Don’t make a habit of forwarding emails, so this is as good of a place as any for this truth.

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They’re Back!!

Taylor came in this morning and said, “You’re not going to like this, we have a bird in our house again!”? Well, technically in the house, but in my mind anyway, the garage isn’t “in the house.”? Another, I hope not the same one as last time, is “stuck” in our garage.? Can’t figure out how to get out–except for that HUGE hole called a garage door!!? The thing is currently perched in a Christmas wreath on the wall in the garage over the door.? Nice.? Maybe that is how the other one got in the house the other day.? Mr. Birdy, meet Mr. Trout net!

Pujols Snubbed . . . LaRussa’s Managing Skills Questioned–again

Taylor and I were excited to watch the All-Star Game the other night. I’m pretty much an NL guy, so I am pretty bummed for the AL to win again. But at least there WAS a winner this year unlike the fiasco in Milwaukee that brought about this goofy “this time it counts, winner gets home field” for the World Series.

It is fun to view the great game through Taylor’s eyes. Read more