Been a while.

February 28, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Here’s a quick catch up on what’s been going on here.

So far, the start of 2009 has been quite a time of reflection. A time to try and figure out what God has in store for me and my family. Ever felt like God has put you on a shelf for a while? I’ve had lot’s of time for these thoughts to run through my head this year. In some ways it’s been a good thing though. I think I’ve been given an opportunity to strengthen my walk and love on my family. Cadie is growing up WAY too fast and is such a beautiful little girl, and Zoe is about the happiest baby I’ve ever seen! I love coming home every evening to her smiling face. And I absolutely love coming home to my wife every night. July of this year will mark 14 years of marriage and I love her even more now than ever, if that’s possible.

I’ve really enjoyed serving in my church, behind the kit in worship, and in the children’s department. Some amazing people doing some amazing things with the kids.

Speaking of playing drums, I’ve slowly been getting booked for more and more studio gigs. I’m really excited about the whole studio situation and working with different people. It really stretches me musically and my love for the drums and music in general has a renewed fire. I’m starting to feel creative again!

And last, but certainly not least, I’ve got my sights set on taking my love of cycling to the next level this year. As money is incredibly tight right now, and my cheap Dekra road bike is starting to wear out with just over 1500 miles on it, I’ve been checking out possible replacements. I’m wanting to do the “jack and back” this fall for MS, it’s 150 miles over two days, and I don’t think ol’ Silver will make it. I’m hoping to figure out a way to get my hands on something decent this year and hopefully, by the end of the season maybe do some amateur level races. Definitely some group rides this year though.

So that’s some of what’s been going on here. What’s new this year with you folks?

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Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2008

My love of bikes bleeds over to my love of music. Enjoy the tune!

Feedback on the first sunday of “Serve”

November 11, 2008

Nov. 10th marked the first Sun. of “service” for my church, Journey. The idea behind this is rather than hold more church services to facilitate the number of folks attending on a Sun. morning, why not send some of them out into the community to serve. We chose to name this endeavor simply, “Serve”, and the first outing was this past Sun.

It was my turn to play drums on the worship team so I wasn’t able to go out. But my good friend Darren was able to go out with his family and I got some very cool insights from his experience. The first Sunday’s act of service would be going around the community with a bag and a note attached to it asking for food donations for the food pantry at a local mission called Graceworks. Graceworks is like most food banks around the country right now. Their requests for assistance are up dramatically and the donations are down. Tina Edwards from Grace Works was quoted as saying that the supplies in their pantry are the lowest she has seen in the 5 years she’s been with the organization.

You can read this for more information on Graceworks.

Next Sun. the Serve group will go back out to those same homes and pick up whatever folks leave out in the donation bags provided last Sun. to bring to Graceworks. Very simple for anyone receiving these bags, you don’t even have to leave your house to make a difference. Darren mentioned that as he and his wife along with their 4 kids roamed the streets with their little red wagon, one of his daughters said that she wished church was like this every Sunday. What a great way to expose your family to being a part of something bigger than yourself.

Why can’t church be like this every day? More services, or more service?

From the Conduit…

November 6, 2008

I read a blog written by one of my good friends, Darren Tyler.  He wrote one today that I think everyone could stand to read so I’m posting it here.  You should check out his blog at this link.

Some great thoughts here, enjoy!

 

Now What?

1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
18Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 20But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Some observations for me personally from this…

1. VS9 Specifically refers to you and I as a “nation”. If you’re a believer that has accepted the stone rejected by men (see vs 4-8) you were not just buying a ticket out of hell. I have become part of a nation, a Holy Nation. Our King is not of this world. America is an amazing nation, possibly the greatest nation that has existed to this date, and yet cannot hold a candle to the ultimate Kingdom that Jesus will rule over here on earth in the future. But for now…

2. VS11- We’re aliens. Not Roswell aliens, but foreigners. Through out the scripture God repeatedly has a soft spot for the widow, the orphan and THE ALIEN, (the foreigner) The Old Testament is riddled with that language. Israel spent most of their time as aliens in another land. We have our physical address here but not our residence. God has a soft spot for the alien, for you and me. Does that mean that I can just check out of the process and life? ..

3. VS 13- Submit your selves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men. Peter was writing this at a time when the ruling government was Rome. The human rights abusing, oppressive, highly taxed, profanely sinful and ultimately self-destructive Rome. Peter didn’t caveat his statement with, “I know that they’re crucifying Jews and I don’t support that, but you must submit anyway”. Strangely enough, He just said submit. So should I just be silent and not lift my voice in disagreement?

4. V15 Peter suggests something simple and compelling. He suggests that we won’t silence ignorant talk of foolish men by arguing or debating but by our GOOD WORKS. What if we all were mini Mother Teresas? He does suggest that our lifestyles and abstaining for sin is key, but he says “good works”. Not just what we DON”T do, but what we DO. If we are speaking the truth with our lives and occasionally with our mouths, Peter says that is the way to silence the Bill Mahers of the world. As it stands we’ve not only not silenced them, we’ve given them plenty of extra fuel for their fire. What if the government, the rulers, the leaders turn this nation into a socialist empire that chooses to imprison or attempt to silence or punish us like they did to Peter and the early church?

5. VS18- Peter says to the slaves to submit with all respect. I want to make that applicable for today by saying that He was talking about employees, but He wasn’t. He was NOT condoning the practice of slavery, rather he was telling the slaves how they could actually defeat their captors. Not by violent uprising, but by lovingly submitting. It’s completely backwards. It’s completely the Kingdom. He says what credit is it to me if I’m punished for actually doing something wrong? The loudest voices are not from the pundits or talking heads. The most significant statement comes from our brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted, abused and dying as martyrs. I feel terribly for them, I pray for them, and yet God has their back. Peter said that Jesus set this example for us to follow. Should I just stand by and not speak out against an oppressive or socialist government should it exist?

6. VS23- Peter says that Jesus set an example by not retaliating. This is an ultimate act of faith. It is faith because I am trusting that God will in fact have His way. Abraham asked a question. He asked “Shall not the God of all the universe do what is just?” It was rhetorical but the answer, of course, is yes. It is not faith when I try to fix it myself. Faith is me standing tall, head held high knowing that God will ultimately bring His Kingdom and that EVERY knee shall bow, EVERY tongue confess, that He is in fact, Lord. (a spiritual term with vast political implications)

I personally believe that our Nation, (not America) but the Nation of Christ, is positioned better than ever to make an impact on this world. I wonder what would happen if we took these next few days, weeks, months, years and started a non violent revolution of Love. What if that love just isn’t just the tingly sensations, and not just stopping with a bunch of churches in the community for “unity “ nights. What if we go further?

What if it was a love that looked like you and I in the most unlovable of situations with the most unlovable of people serving. What if we do a better job than our government (republican or democrat) of feeding the poor. What if we as the church do a better job of adopting unwanted children who might have otherwise been aborted. What if our churches were side by side filled with people of every nationality, income bracket, and background? What if we stop asking the government to do what God clearly has asked you and I to do personally as believers? What if we silence the talk of foolish men with our good works? 

We’ve seen what we can accomplish with our well-crafted arguments and debating skills. I wonder what we could do with our lives. 

Darren Tyler
http://www.conduitmission.org
http://www.myspace.com/conduitbiblestudy
http://www.darrentyler.podomatic.com

Please help!

September 24, 2008

Here’s the deal –

My friend Bush and his wife Maris are down to the final couple days of their adoption and they are in need of help. They thought they would have all the money they needed by now but they don’t. Grants and adoption loan applications are out but they haven’t heard anything back yet. The deadline is this Thurs and Bush is selling prints of some of his incredible pictures to try to get the necessary funds to finish the adoption. If he can sell 140 prints at $35 a piece they will have all they need to make this adoption final.

Here is a link to his post with details.

If you can help, please head to that link and respond. Thanks so much for all your help!

More services, or more service?

September 23, 2008

Last Fri. and Sat. I not only got a chance to serve with my pastor and my friend Drew, but I also got some good hang time in. Two incredibly genuine people who’s hearts are all about serving others. I am truly blessed to have found this church. I have never set foot in a church quite like this one. Jamie is very transparent and the day to day dealings and things a church goes through are never hidden in the background here. I love how the churches story is lived out for everyone to see and be a part of. It’s a place where your needs are met through community and through all of us serving each other as well as the community around us. Not a church subculture, but a place where the importance of the Christian getting involved in the lives of the unchurched and serving them without shoving Jesus in their face is emphasized. Simply being Jesus, tangibly, to those around us. Genuinely loving people.

Journey has become a halfway house of sorts to those broken and hurt by religion. In the short time I’ve been there I’ve listened to the story’s of many people who came to Journey as people wounded by religion, or just by life, found healing through service to others, and have given birth to a new vision God has placed in their lives. For some this has even meant moving on to another town, or country to follow the purpose God has placed in their lives. What a wonderful thing for a church to celebrate as one of their own finds healing and moves on to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the needy!

Too many churches take it personally when someone leaves. But if they look closer, or for that matter even bother to ask, they may find out that God is doing a wonderful thing in that person’s life. The church should support and celebrate this! To me, it’s what a Church SHOULD look like. People finding healing and purpose, then going into the world and being Jesus to others. That’s the sign of a functional church, a functional FAMILY. If all we ever did was go to church on Sun. morning and take and take and take we’d be a church of consumers. Somehow I don’t see that as God’s vision for his bride.

Lately part of the conversation on sun. mornings has been what to do about our lack of space as we have been outgrowing the building we lease. There hasn’t been any peace with the idea of building a facility. Also, as the idea of multiple services has been tossed around, and for a while the thought has been that this is how we should handle the issue, it has not brought about any peace either. So what do you do at this point? After months of throwing these ideas around and praying about a solution, Pastor Jamie gets an email from someone at the church that says simply “more services, or more service?”

This sparks the idea of a rotation. Taking some of our villages (community groups) and sending them out on sun. to serve in the community. We rotate a certain number of villages each week so that everyone can be out serving the community once a month. There are a lot of logistics to work out as well as other things but man, what an AWESOME IDEA!! Instead of sitting in church taking notes on what we should be doing, people are out there every week DOING IT! I definitely think this is a step in the right direction and would even love to see if maybe it moves to serving 3 times a month and attend a service once a month. Lot’s to think about to make this work but it looks like we will start doing this in just a few weeks. I anticipate some amazing stories when this is in full swing. Exciting times ahead!

Great weekend

September 23, 2008

Last Fri. and Sat. I headed down to MS with one of the worship leaders at my church (Drew Cline) and my pastor, Jamie George. It was a two day event for BSU of MS to encourage students to get involved with missions. Kind of a stretch for me to get behind a hybrid drum kit of sorts, blending hand percussion elements with the basic kick (although tiny), snare, hat of a regular kit and using things like brushes, rods, and my hands to play worship songs with Drew as he lead worship on his acoustic guitar. I felt very inadequate as hand perc is not my element but found the opportunity intriguing! Drew seemed to like what we came up with musically and I must say it inspired me to morph this hybrid kit even more with other interesting elements and set ups. Looks like we may be doing more of this together and adding someone on acoustic bass as well as myself and the bass player singing BGV’s. I love how this is stretching me creatively! I’m also very excited as to the types of events we are aiming for, bringing the idea of being mission minded and thinking along the lines of serving others as part of our daily walk with Christ. It was so wonderful to see how the act of servanthood is peaking the interest of college age individuals. I loved hearing the story’s of those that have gone overseas as well as all over north america and the ways in which these trips changed students for the better.

Looking forward to doing more of this with Drew!

RHFH is in great need…

September 15, 2008

Due to recent storms that have ripped through the country of Haiti, Real Hope For Haiti is in great need of many things.  Roads, bridges, homes and supplies have been destroyed by the recent storms.  If you would like to give directly to RHFH via paypal, click the link below:

Anything and everything helps, thank you so much for your prayers as well.

Donald Miller and the DNC

September 15, 2008

Zoe’s here!

September 12, 2008

Well, last night Tracy went into labor, and she wasn’t scheduled to have her C sec until the mon. after next!  Well, Zoe wanted out NOW.  Actually, Tracy wanted her out now too so it’s all good.  Here are some pictures:

And for the record, that’s not me holding the baby, that’s the doctor.  I took the picture.