Thursday, January 28, 2010
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
this book got substantially better as i read it. i made a note on page 74 - when Chan begins to breakdown and dissect the active work of the Holy Spirit - and i took many more notes from then on til the end.
Forgotten God is a book about the one forgotten or neglected aspect of God in the western church: the Holy Spirit. it was a book that i didn't realize i needed to read until i started reading it. it really opened my eyes to a vital, living part of the Godhead that i've obviously known about but have rarely even thought about connecting with.
Chan isn't pointing out anything i haven't already heard or read - but at least he is writing about it... he seems to have his finger on the pulse of the church in America... a church that largely has neglected the Holy Spirit and all that it does and can do in our lives.
Seriously, the second half of this book is tremendously good. (good seems to be a weak adjective - but it's true). i am excited now after reading it.
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Friday, January 22, 2010
(re:post: written for church newsletter - jan 2010)
Ten Years: WHAT A DECADE.
It’s been ten years since I took on the role as Director of Youth Ministries. I’ve seen a lot happen in those ten years. 10 mission trips. 10 CYF camps. 10 Junior High camps. 24 Winter Jam weekends. 11 Atwood Retreats. 300+ Youth Focus meetings. 550+ Bible studies. 50+ Breakfast Clubs. Plus an assortment of other camping trips, game nights, worship events, swim parties, and discipleship and leadership training events. Over the years our youth ministry has gone through many changes. In the midst of our busyness we’ve tried our best to give students opportunities to connect with a living God, to help them discover their gifts and to help them see God’s divine purpose and plan for their lives. As it is with ministry, some got it… some didn’t. Regardless, the ministry constantly adapted to meet the needs of youth.
In ten years, we’ve witnessed tragedies in our community, in our nation and in the world. We’ve watched the world change with the evolution of our culture, our technology, our media communication and the like. We’ve welcomed 24 hour news. Reality TV. Hybrid cars. YouTube. Facebook. Twitter. Cell phones. Texting. Google. iPods. Digital this and that. $3 mochas. Super Wal Mart’s. Environmental awareness. Do-nothing politicians. Cultural clashes. Terrorist scares. Economic collapse. Etc. whatever.
In the midst of such global change and new inventions, ministries and churches were shown new ways to spread the Gospel of Christ. Some got it. Some didn’t. Unfortunately, not all churches or Christians have embraced the reality of the changes upon us.
Some may have said ‘let’s go back to the way it used to be – when things were better.’ I say ‘let’s embrace the newness and see how God is working through it all’. Paul reminds us in 1 Cor. 9:24-27 to ‘keep our eyes on the prize.’ Folks, the prize is in front of us, not behind us. The Gospel is the same, yesterday, today and forever – but our approach to ministry and reaching those who need the love of Jesus most is not. It needs to change as society changes… or else, before too long, Christianity will be an after thought… more than it already is now. We don’t need to go back – we need to go forward, and blaze a trail of righteousness, loving the unlovable, serving the unservable, and reaching the unreachable. This can happen if we embrace change and understand that God is guiding us. We need to trust the Spirit. It’s difficult to follow when we’re comfortably seated on our couches or in our pews.
It’s going to be hard work. It takes discipline. Or else we run the risk of being ‘disqualified’ as Paul writes (vs. 27). For those of you lacking energy? We will carry you. For those of you discouraged? We will walk beside you.
I once saw a picture of a beggar on a street corner. He held a sign that said ‘forget your coins, I want change!’ You see, the world no longer needs a handout. The world needs change, meaningful, life-altering change. And if we, the church, are not willing to ‘be the change we want to see in the world’ then what’s the point in trying? Together, we can do it. We can be it. We can show it. I know this because the Holy Spirit promises to be our comforter, advisor, encourager and strength. (Psalm 143:10, Acts 9:31, etc)
Where will this church be in 10 years? Will the world care about our message? I hope and pray that we have the courage to ‘run this race with our eyes on the prize’ which is Christ Jesus.
Director of Youth Ministries (Nov. ’99-present)
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
and JEFF ZUCKER - President and CEO of NBC Universal Television Entertainment
I am writing to show my support for Conan O'Brien. It is shameful how NBC is treating him. Just admit it: Jay Leno @ 10PM was a bad idea... I can't believe you guys are going backwards rather than forwards. Me and my family have been strong supporters of NBC and its programming, even through these years of dismal ratings. Conan represents the future. Leno represents the past.
Way to go. Smooth move. Fact is, Leno said he was going to retire - then he wanted to come back - or you wanted him to come back. So you gave him a new time slot in prime time. As a result - his show ruined your 10 pm slot - the late local news - and then Conan's Tonight Show gig.
I hope you let Conan go - so that he may go on to other, better things. But you look like an organization with ZERO class. You promise a guy something. You give it to him. He moves his crew and their families across the country - and then after 7 months - you screw him over.
Way to go. You stay classy NBC. No wonder you're in 4th place.
P.s What will you do when Leno's return to late night fails to get the ratings he used to? He's yesterday's news.
side note: I have always been a fan of late night television. over the years I've watched Johnny Carson, Letterman, Leno, O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon and even on occasion, Carson Daly (i'm a night owl). I even gave Leno's new 10pm show a chance - but frankly, it was horrible. really horrible. REgardless, I respected Leno and thought he was o.k. But now I'm thinking his ego is just too big.
I kind of thought Leno would do the respectable thing and tell NBC that he would not pursue the Tonight Show - but according to reports, He's getting that chair back.
So Conan's getting the shaft. Too bad for him. He's a creative guy with a fresh perspective. At least he's taking the high road:
Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.
So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.
There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.
Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.
Friday, January 08, 2010
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
solitude. silence. and prayer. thus is the way of to be shaped by the Spirit, not by the world. Nouwen challenges us to live these three practices - and he outlines why and how with great detail - so as to become one with God, to have our heart melted and molded into the very heart of God.
life is full of busyness and chaos. i desperately desire times of solitude, silence and prayer. i think that is why i was drawn to this book.
some profound headers found in this book:
Solitude: the furnace of transformation
Silence teaches us to speak
Prayer of mind
Prayer of heart
Prayer of ministry: short prayers; unceasing prayers
Nouwen shows how simple faith should be and how we muddy the waters with our own ideas that are not God ideas (more often than not).
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Sunday, January 03, 2010
19: Calamateur - Jesus is for Losers
18: Siriusmo - The Uninvited Guest (Bonus Track Version)
17: The Swell Session - Strict Joy
16: David Crowder Band - Church Music
15: Jonsi and Alex - Riceboy Sleeps
14: Bear in Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth
13: Mos Def - The Ecstatic
12: Howling Bells - Radio Wars
11. Dubh - Fractured Broken and Beautiful
10: Muse - The Resistance
9. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
8. U2 - No Line on the Horizon
7. Manic Street Preachers - Journal for Plague Lovers
6. Engineers - Three Fact Fader
5. Derek Webb - Stockholm Syndrome
4. The xx - xx
3. The Boxer Rebellion - Union
2. Gnawledge - Granada Doaba
1. The Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha
top song: The Uprising by Muse
I read 27 books.
I saw 158 movies.
here is a recap of top albums from years past:
My Top Albums: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Saturday, January 02, 2010
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life Miller, Donald
Still Waters and Skyscrapers: The 23rd Psalm for the 21st Century Tomlinson, Dave
Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living Job, Reuben P.
Pagan Christianity: Exposing the Roots of Our Church Practices Viola, Frank
Downtime: Helping Teenagers Pray Yaconelli, Mark
Drops Like Stars: A Few Thoughts on Creativity and Suffering Bell, Rob
10 Most Common Mistakes Made by Church Starts Griffith, Jim
The World as I Remember It: Through the Eyes of a Ragamuffin Mullins, Rich
The Orthodox Heretic And Other Impossible Tales Rollins, Peter
Night Wiesel, Elie
Al Capone Does My Shirts Choldenko, Gennifer
The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical Claiborne, Shane
The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture: How Media Shapes Faith, the Gospel, and Church Hipps, Shane
Rejesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church Frost, Michael
Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices McLaren, Brian D.
Making Ripples Breaux, Mike
A Generous Orthodoxy McLaren, Brian D.
Youth Ministry 3.0 Oestreicher, Mark
A Christianity Worth Believing Pagitt, Doug
Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations Shirky, Clay
Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile Bell, Rob
A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God Shawchuck, Norman
Visioneering: God's Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Personal Vision Stanley, Andy
The Christian Culture Survival Guide: The Misadventures of an Outsider on the Inside Turner, Matthew Paul
Doing Church As A Team Cordeiro, Wayne
Different Seasons King, Stephen
The New Conspirators: Creating the Future One Mustard Seed at a Time Sine, Tom
My favs were: Night, A Gen. Orthodoxy, ReJesus, The Irresistible Revolution (i read it on the beach) and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.
Friday, January 01, 2010
one of the best things to happen in '09 was the Steelers winning the Super Bowl in February. it was a great game with an awesome finish and their victory completed one of the greatest seasons in history - playing the toughest schedule ever.
the biggest change in our lives appeared on the scene on april 27th. Silas Andrew was born and his birth brought a forgotten joy to our family. as an added bonus, Silas brought the gift that keeps on giving - spit up. for the first 7 months he spit up... a lot... on chairs, beds, floors... you name it. but he still grew... 23lbs as of today (he is 8 months old now). he is a genuinely happy baby and full of life.
the summer was busier than ever - and in some regard was something i was not looking forward too (because it was so busy). but in the midst of that, great things happened. i took the youth group on a trip to Washington DC to the DCLA 2009 event. i think 5,000 people attended that conference. it was a great experience but was bittersweet as it was the first time in my 9 years of marriage that i was away from my wife and kids. while there we went to the Holocaust museum. this reignited a passion to learn and discover more about the Holocaust. since then, Jen and i have Netflix'd many holocaust movies. it still seems almost unbelievable that something like that could ever have happened - a certain stain on the garment of human history... but we should never forget and the stories should be told.
this fall was filled with sickness and the fear that comes with it. jen had strep throat 2x; micah and addie had the swine flu (mild in comparison from the scare tactics told in the media); micah, addie and myself each had a bout with the stomach flu; i've had numerous colds; silas had an ear infect, etc. fun fun!
this year i grew to love coffee more and more... in the spring we got our first coffee maker... now Starbucks coffee is brewed almost daily.
i had chances to express creativity through a new worship service we've started called Kaleidoscope. As a part of Kscope, i began to make more videos under the title 'ceative kerygma' (kerygma is greek, meaning 'proclamation')
i even finished up my course of study as part of the New Church Start Academy and was able to use such knowledge in the development of Kscope.
My fascination with soccer continued. for the second year in a row i coached Micah's soccer team. i really enjoyed it. this year it was a U-8 team. we finished with 4 wins 5 losses and 1 tie. the highlight was when we knocked off the the lone undefeated team late in the season.
i celebrated my 10th anniversary of being a youth pastor. honestly, it has flown by. i feel blessed to have a job that i still love. although there are times when i feel close to burnout, i wouldn't trade it for anything. lately i have a desire to learn about a slowed down, contemplative approach to youth ministry and am excitedly exploring that more. this year, we are embracing community, through love, creativity, sharing stories and responding to God's call.
so there is a brief review of the year that was: 2009. i look forward to a great 2010 with jen and the kids and the ministry, etc.