Filter Through Life

Prayer and driving
February 29, 2008, 9:10 am
Filed under: Jesus, Prayer, Religion

If you haven’t noticed, the subject of prayer is weighing very heavily on my heart today. 

Living your life without praying is like driving a car with your feet; you can probably do it but it’s dangerous, you probably won’t get where you think you are headed and it is definitely not a good idea.

Make sure you take some time to be with Jesus.  He wants to hear from you.  He wants to talk to you.  And, if you are going to drive a car with your feet, He wants you to walk to work.


Today at men’s prayer
February 29, 2008, 9:01 am
Filed under: church, Faith, Leadership, Legacy Fellowship, men's prayer, Ministry, Religion

Normally, during men’s prayer on Friday morning, I spend most of my time praying for the church body of Legacy Fellowship.  That is not to say I don’t pray for other things than that, of course I do, but my focus is usually on the 60-70 members that come through our doors every Sunday and Wednesday. 

Today was different.  After I spent a few minutes getting myself right before God, I spent the rest of the time praying for the staff of Legacy.  I really felt like that is where the prayers were needed today.

I like to think that we have it all down.  We are exactly where we need to be with God and in our ministry.  I couldn’t be more wrong.  We need prayer as much as the next person.  I forget that sometimes because we are staff.  I forget that because we are SUPPOSED to have it all wired.  We don’t; especially me.

I am going to make a point of praying for my fellow staff members more.  I am going to spend some serious time in prayer for them and the rest of the church.  Heck, I am just going to spend some serious time in prayer.

I have a plan

Lately things have been just a little bit off for me.  I am not pulling my hair out yet and I can still function like a normal person (for the most part) but I can tell I am off.  I am a little moody lately.  I am not as energetic as I normally am, which for me means I am completely lethargic because I am not super energetic as it is.  I am unmotivated.  I am moody.  Did I say that already?   

 I was telling my wife this yesterday and in her infinite wisdom she told me what was wrong.  I am not spending enough time with Jesus.  I am trying to do everything on my own and I am just not strong enough to do it all.  Between work, ministry, the crap with my dog and keeping a marriage going I just don’t have the strength and coordination to hold it all in the air and keep it balanced.  One or more of the things I am juggling is bound to come crashing down, especially if I do. 

I can’t remember the last time I sat down and really talked with Him.  I have been reading like mad lately.  I have been getting into the word and trying to better myself that way.  All that is great but if I supplement that with only a few minutes of prayer a day then I am not getting all that I need.  I will then begin doing everything on my own power and for my own reasons. 

 Psalm 62: 5-6 says:

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
       my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;
       he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

I will find rest in Him if I only seek Him.  The more I seek Him, the more I will find Him.  The more I find Him, the more I will love Him.  When that happens I will find perfect peace and rest in Him. So here is my plan: I am going to take a day or seven here in the very near future to just get away.  I am going to recharge my batteries.  But before that happens I am going to set aside time in my day for being with Him, my first love.  I miss Him.

The Winds of Change

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you probably know that for the past two years I have served as the youth pastor of a smallish growing church plant in Cedar Park (a suburb of Austin), Texas called Legacy Fellowship.  I also work full-time since the church is not yet big enough to support staff.  It has been a fun and exciting journey and I have learned a lot.  I think the journey is about to get really tough.  I just feel it in my bones. 

Over the last two years the youth ministry I lead has been inconsistent at best and at worst, a complete failure.  We have had as few as two kids and as many as twelve in a service depending on what kind of food we serve at the end.  (On a positive note, I have learned that food will bring in the kids.)  We have had events that were a blast (the lock-in), a success (car wash fundraiser), boring (hanging at my house) and one that never happened (Collide Festival).  I pray that all changes with the new year.  We definitely have plans to change it. 

I have been a pretty rotten leader.  It has been over the past few months that I have realized just how bad I have been and how much I want that to change.  I can’t use the “I don’t know what I am doing” excuse anymore.  I can’t have a victim mentality.  I have to move.  It’s a lot easier to turn a moving car around than a parked one, right?  Even if I go in the wrong direction for a few feet, at least I will be able to get it turned around if we’re moving. 

Cheri and I are getting better at meeting to talk about the plans for the youth ministry.  We are getting better at executing said plans too.  We have gotten better at connecting with the kids outside of church and that is one of the single most important things we needed to change.  We are going to get there; we have to. 

Our goal: To lead teenagers to Christ and teach them that they are not the FUTURE of the church, they are a vital and functional part of the body of Christ TODAY!

I talked to my wife this weekend
February 25, 2008, 8:39 am
Filed under: Conviction Hurts, Daily Living, Family, Friends, Life Happens, Marriage, Relationships

My wife and I drove into Houston for a friend’s wedding this weekend.  It was a whirlwind and I am worn out but I am glad we went.  Congratulations to the happy couple: Joel and Heather. 

A funny thing happened Saturday night on our drive home.  We didn’t turn on the radio.  Not once.  The drive takes almost three hours and we didn’t turn on the radio.  Really.  So, what did we do you ask?  We talked.  **crickets sounding** 

That’s right folks; my wife and I talked for nearly three hours all the way home and it was great.  I am not much of a talker unless I really have something to say.  Apparently, I had a lot on my mind.  For me to control even half of the conversation would mean I talked for an hour and a half.  That’s a lot of talking for me.  I don’t think we have talked like that since before we were married.   

There were several things revealed to me in that conversation.  I found that I am a pretty bad youth pastor.  The more we talked about our ministry (especially the past) the more I realized just how bad it has been.  I learned that I have a tendency to take on a victim mentality.  That one hurt.  I also learned that I am one prideful dude.  I have always fancied myself to be very humble, respectful and considerate.  It was revealed to me that I have a lot of pride about just how respectful and considerate I am.  That one really hurt.  The thing about it that’s funny is she wasn’t the one that pointed these things about.  She just let me talk and when I came to the conclusions myself she just listened and encouraged me.  I love my wife.  It is so great to have a godly woman as my wife.  I think I am going to try to talk to her more often…but about happy stuff.

Dream a Little Dream
February 25, 2008, 8:23 am
Filed under: Family, God | Tags: ,

I am a little spooked these days.  I keep having dreams about babies.  Some of the babies have even belonged to me in these dreams.  I think God is trying to rid me of my phobia.   

On another note, the baby we had in my dream last night was the best looking baby I have ever seen.  Well, I am not surprised.  J

The Academy Got Something Right
February 25, 2008, 8:21 am
Filed under: Movies, Music | Tags: , , , ,

I was so pumped last night when it was announced that Glan Hansard and Marketa Irglova won the Oscar for Best Original Song.  The song “Falling Slowly” from “Once” is one of my favorite songs and deserved the award.  They also put on the best performance of the night too.  Nothing flashy, just great music and passion.  I finally got what I hoped for from The Oscars.