Filter Through Life

Your mom goes to college…and now, so do I…again
September 28, 2007, 2:41 pm
Filed under: College, Seniors | Tags:

I am now officially enrolled in Master’s International School of Divinity.  I will be a senior, just 30 hours away from graduating with a Bachelor of Christian Studies with a concentration in Pastoral Ministry.  Ironic really, since I am 30 years old and…whatever.  The thing is, I am kind of excited about it.  That is insane!  I can still remember how I felt about college when I was 18, 19, 20…..I hated it.  Now I am looking forward to starting up again.  It must be the subject matter that makes it different.


September 28, 2007, 1:03 pm
Filed under: Commuting, Daily Living, Motorcycles, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Just a few observations: 

1)      5:30am comes very early.  For those of you (farmers, mail-carriers) that are up at the crack of dawn and earlier, I applaud you.  However, I recently read that it is bad for you.  Read the article.  The study was done by the Japanese; they are smarter than we are so listen.  I think 7:00am is the earliest time of day one can get out of bed and keep oneself safe.  Also, if it weren’t for the different time zones I am sure Jesus would still be asleep at 5:30am.  Though seeing as everyone doesn’t live in the Central Time Zone He has to be awake.

2)     I used to think chiropractors were witchdoctors.  I recently aggravated an old injury to my back so I decided to try it out before I took pain killers.  Three words: A, MAZE, ING!  Go get yourself adjusted by a pro.

3)     There are very few things more enjoyable than riding a 919cc engine with two wheels at 80 MPH on a brisk morning.  I love my motorcycle!

See you at the pole
September 26, 2007, 8:53 am
Filed under: Faith, God is good, Jesus, Leadership, Prayer, Teenagers, Youth Ministry

I attended my first “See You at the Pole” this morning.  I had no idea what to expect other than a handful of teens praying at the flagpole.  It was so much more than that.  I am encouraged by what I saw from the students at Georgetown High School (my wife attended SUATP at Vista Ridge High, and apparently the junior high is pretty big too).  My guestimation is that there were about 80-90 students and about a dozen adults in attendance.  This thing starts up at 7:00am and school doesn’t start until 8:45am, so this is an amazing achievement in and of itself. 

What is more amazing that nearly 100 teens getting up an hour and a half early to pray for their school?  Well, not a whole lot, but this was.  Four students brought guitars and lead the group in worship.  Not everyone sang, and not all who did sang well, but they were there worshipping God.  God said to make a joyful noise, which is good news for a lot of us.  And a joyful noise it was.  I am still a bit new to this youth minister thing.  To see students worshipping God is amazing!  To see them in their own element, where their friends and other students can see them, well that is spectacular.  Students are usually insecure and afraid to express their faith to those outside the church walls.  It is so amazing when they step out of their comfort zone and just love on God.  He deserves it. 

Anyway, the worship, though not musically spectacular, was wonderful.  I had time enough to hear the first teen speakers.  Yes, a few teens actually preached!  I was able to hear the first two which were twin sisters in their junior year.  I was amazed by their zeal for the Lord.  I am not real keen on the nicknames people use for God (Big G, J.C., etc) of which there were many, but I think God is okay with it when it comes from a teen.  I can only imagine that He would prefer a teen to call upon Him by saying, “Hey yo!  What up Big G?” than not call on Him at all.  I think He will teach them reverence as the years progress.  So, the two girls brought a surprisingly well prepared and well spoken message (if you could get past the animation and “yo’s”, “bam’s”, “off the hook’s”, “off the chain’s” and the like) about worshipping God anywhere and anytime (John 4:21).   

You could have knocked me over with a feather.  I have NEVER seen a teen, let alone several, this excited for God.  I prayed for these teens.  I prayed for the Holy Spirit to fill their hearts so that it would overflow and flood their school.  I prayed that the school would be won for Christ.  I prayed for boldness in these teens.  They are not just the future leaders of our community and nation, they are leaders now!  The more they can be Godly influence now, the more Godly leaders we will have in the world tomorrow.   

Have you prayed for the high school and teens near you lately?  That could help with the twitch you get every time you hear about a teen in trouble, every time one drives by you…err…cuts you off, or even when one is near you, you know?  And God knows, it can help the teen.   

I don’t normally do this (long posts) but I am growing more and more passionate about what I do, and what I do is love teenagers.

Happily ever after
September 24, 2007, 8:21 am
Filed under: Daily Living, Faith, Friends, God is good, Jesus, Leadership, Movies, Prayer, Relationships

I love how God reveals things to me.  I really love how He reveals messages He wants me to speak.  He speaks in a small, still voice and He repeats it until you get it. 

The last week or so I have been praying and trying to figure out what to speak on this Wednesday.  I know I should be more prepared and have this stuff planned weeks in advance but I don’t have that down yet.  I am working on that though.  Anyway, it seems everywhere I look I am getting the “Happily Ever After” message.  You know what I mean?

God has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  There is a great big void in our hearts the size of eternity that only God can fill.  We try to fill it with many worldly things and they never seem to take.  That’s because nothing on this earth is eternal.  When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He comes in and fills that void.  We get to live forever in Heaven.  

“…And they lived happily ever after.”  Do you see it?  The stories we tell in books, in film, in song and in poems are like this.  We have God to thank for this creativity.  We have God to thank for the constant reminders that we can live happily ever after.  I have God to thank for telling me what to preach about. 

I took my wife to see a silly little chick-flick on Saturday called Sydney White.  It is a modern day retelling of Snow White.  Yes, my wife deserved it and no, I didn’t like it.  But I will admit here on the web for millions to see, Amanda Bynes is a funny chick.  But I digress.  It was a fairy tale and in the end (it is presumed) they lived happily every after. 

Earlier in the week I was talking about eternity to a friend of mine.  Yesterday my pastor preached about the degrees of separation we allow between us and God.  One of the scriptures he referred to was Ecclesiastes 3:11.  I don’t think he actually said where it was from of anything but he said “God has put eternity in our hearts.”  And finally, last night I was reading Epic by John Eldridge and he talks about all the stories we love that end with “happily ever after.”  It’s because we have that desire in our hearts.  It has been placed there by our Heavenly Father.  So go get some eternity.  Let’s live happily ever after together in Heaven.

2 points
September 24, 2007, 7:47 am
Filed under: Daily Living, Fantasy Football, Football, Friends, Houston Texans, NFL, Rants, Sports

I am beginning to dislike fantasy football.  I lost this week to a team called “Magical Dragons”…by 2 points!!!  That is one less interception by Matt Schaub, twenty more yards by any one of my receivers or running backs, one more field goal or one more sack And hey, how about a touchdown Stephen Jackson?  Arrrrgggggghhhhhhhh! 

To top it off, the Texans lost.  Albeit to the Colts, but they still lost.  One more receiver, like maybe Andre Johnson, and they would have won.  Maybe. 

No parable here.  I am just bitter. 

Anybody home?
September 21, 2007, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Life Happens, Missed Opportunities, Rants

It really irks me when you have an appointment set with someone and it doesn’t happen.  You know, for whatever reason one of you just can’t make it.  But what really drives me insane is when a business partner wants you to show up at a certain time as a courtesy for THEIR clients and they don’t show up.

I was scheduled to be at a business with whom we do business today from 1:00-2:00 PM in order to help their clients.  They wanted me to do this.  They sent out letters to their clients informing them that someone from my company would be in their office to assist them.  The office was never even opened!  There was a sign on the door stating that they would be out of the office until 1:00.  Not a problem.  I’m there at 12:45, I will wait.  1:00, nobody.  1:15, nobody.  1:30, nope.  I go get me a refreshment and come back.  2:00, hello, anybody home?  No.  Sheesh!  It’s easier working with teenagers.  I should really stick to that job.

Falling on my sword
September 21, 2007, 10:07 am
Filed under: Daily Living, Funny Stories, Life Happens, Random Junk, Stupid Happens, Uncategorized

It has been requested I share this story with you all.  This is a true story and only the names have been changed or omitted to protect their identity. 

As my temporary means of income (going on 3 years now), I am employed by a company that provides a service.  I am in the direct sales department of which there are two representatives.  Selling a product is a difficult job.  I have learned selling a service is much more difficult.  Products are tangible.  You can hold or touch a product.  A service can be described in as much detail as a book by Henry David Thoreau but you still can’t touch it.

Selling a service is one thing and delivering is a whole different animal.  When you can’t deliver on said service because of one detail or another excuses start flying and heads start rolling.  I don’t like to make excuses.  Excuses are like armpits; everybody has ‘em and most of them stink.  When we can’t deliver I like to find out why and then I do my best to fix it or get it to the person that can fix it.  Then and only then do I go to a customer to make things right…if possible.   

Some people in business say, “Never say you are sorry.  Tell them we appreciate your patience as we work to get this matter resolved.”  I don’t subscribe to this philosophy.  I think it is garbage.  There is nothing wrong with saying you are sorry.  It may not be your fault but you can be sorry for a customer’s inconvenience.  A little humility can go a long way.   

Enough preface, here is the point of this post.  One day one our contractors called me up to tell me he could not deliver on a service to a customer.  He was at the customer’s home and because of something behind the scenes he could not complete his job.  I told him I would come by the customer’s home to talk with them and sort the problem out.  I got to the home about 10 minutes later and knocked on the door.  The customer invites me in so we can hash things out.   

I explain to the customer that we are doing everything we can to make things work to the absolute best of our ability and we are terribly sorry.  “I am here to fall on my sword.  I just forgot it at home.” I say this simply to interject a bit of levity.  Humor is a powerful tool and can often make a big difference in earning a bit of rapport with someone that is upset.  

Apparently this person was in no mood for humor as she said, “Take a look on the wall in the office.”  There on the wall was a 5 foot long, double-edged sword right out of Conan the Barbarian.  “Uhhh, got any drop cloths?  This could be messy.” 

That was the first and the last time I have ever used that saying.