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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!

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

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!

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.


Sarcasm is the enemy of intimacy

September 1, 2008

Pastor Jamie said that this morning and it rang out to me like a bell.  I think sometimes I tend to be a bit sarcastic (ok maybe a lot) to the people I love.  I’m not trying to be mean, just a reaction I have, probably from my yankee roots, hehe.  But I know when the sarcasm is shot in my direction it does something to me, makes me feel low, and angry.  Although I try not to show it, I laugh it off.  It hurts, even when it was not meant to.  I think I should be more aware of how this affects the people it’s directed to.  There’s a separation that happens, a definite killing of intimacy between people when this exchange is made.  I don’t want something as stupid as a sarcastic remark for the sake of a laugh to tear apart the community that God has put me in with others.  I know I can’t change overnight, but God help me to be more conscious of my words.

Hanging with old friends

August 26, 2008

Man, it was good to see my buddy Brad Duncan on Sun. night.  I haven’t seen that ugly biker in a long time, and I sure have missed him.  He moved back to Oregon over a year ago and started a church doing some pretty amazing things in one of the most unchurched regions of our country.  His church, The Shift, has been doing some amazing things in it’s community in the short time that it has been around.  I love hearing about the people Brad encounters and how he shows the love of Jesus through simple acts of compassion, both one on one and through the ministries of The Shift.  Brad definitely attracts people who are rough around the edges, with his biker “good looks”.  Brad is truly being a light in a dark place and I had a great time down at Nashville’s Dan McGuinness Irish pub Sun. night hearing more about what God is doing in the Pacific North West through The Shift “…a kind of church for those who hate church”.  What a great slogan for a church.  They are doing what Jesus did, loving on the unlovable.

Here’s a bad pic of my buddy Brad and our mutual friend Kiwamu (or Josh to those who can’t pronounce it) at Dan McGuinness Irish Pub

Back pedaling

July 19, 2008

You ever get that feeling when you’re driving down the highway as you begin a long trip that your vehicle just might not make it?  Maybe you’re on a business trip or your heading out on vacation.  I was kind of doing both last Wed.  We had just gotten the van loaded and ate lunch, then jumped into the ol’ MPV and headed south on I-65 to Panama City Beach, FL.  about 25 to 30 miles down the road I thought to myself, “self, I really hope this van makes it down there.  It’s mighty hot outside and this puppy is loaded up!”.

So just a min. or two after I thought this (and thereby cursing the trip) the AC didn’t feel quite as cool as it should.  “hmmm” I thought out loud, “That doesn’t feel right…”. “What doesn’t feel right?”, asked my wife.  “The air doesn’t seem as cool as it should be.”  “You’re absolutely right oh wonderful husband of mine.” she said, looking lovingly into my eyes.  I then noticed the check engine light come on as Tracy said “Look at the temperature gauge.” still looking lovingly at me. That puppy was reading HOT!  So I pulled over and we spend the rest of the day doing things like waiting on tow trucks, waiting on mechanics, driving back home, driving back down to pick up the van, driving back home again, unpacking, repacking, blah blah blah…

So my awesome brother took care of getting my van home and letting us borrow his car to get down to PC on Thurs. and we are here in time for load in and sound check.  So it all worked out but…

I had my bike loaded in the van along with my daughters bike, looking forward to getting some good riding time in on flat land.  Well, the bikes don’t fit in the car so I’m an entire 9 days without having time in the saddle, BUMMED 😦

So next week I got some serious catching up to do.  There is a slight chance my buddy Clay could be coming down and he may be able to load my bike up in his truck.  If that happens, I may just kiss him right on his mouth, seriously.  Or al least buy him a beer, haha.