Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Running this week has been tough. I have lost ground between days off sick, busy schedule, and traveling. Today I was especially frustrated that I could only manage three to five minute intervals of running. After all, my body should know that it's running a race on Saturday.

At 1.5 miles, I realized I was going to log in one of my all time worst run times. My perfectionist instinct said,"Quit. What's the point in finishing at this pace?"

However, I am nothing if not mule headedly stubborn. (persistent is the nice word.) I pushed on for 2 miles, then 2.5, then finally the 3.1. All the time that I was running, I was realizing how slow my time was and how painful and just plain hard the run was today.

As I was cooling down, frustrated and discouraged, I heard that small voice in my head again. This is what God said, "Just because the run is hard, just because the run is painful, just because it feels impossible, as if it can never be done - that does not mean that you cannot, should not, or will not be able run it. Endure."

I was again reminded that some days of our Christian walk are not earth shaking, amazingly beautiful moments. Some days are just hard. But just because they are hard does not mean that they cannot be faced, endured, and overcome.

I am thankful that God can do the impossible.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Catalyst 09

Catalyst '09 featured a stellar line-up of "famous Christians." I'll get to that term in a minute. I had the opportunity to hear Andy Stanley, Rob Bell, Francis Chan, Matt Chandler, Louie Gigglio, and many others. Worship was led primarily by Steve Fee, with other artists such as Aaron Keyes doing small segments.

I wanted to share some of the insights and some of the lessons that I learned over the weekend. I had not ever listened to Andy Stanley before, and I must say that I was impressed with his honesty and his depth. He preached about the story in Joshua 5 where the angel appears to Joshua. Joshua asks, "Are you for us or against us?" The angel answers, "Neither." I had always skimmed past this part of the story, but Andy Stanley made a great point here. We have life all mixed up when we are asking God, "Are you for US or against US?" The correct question about our life is "Am I living my life FOR GOD?"

When Joshua asked what he should do next, the angel replied, "Take off your shoes, you're standing on holy ground." These were the same words spoken to Moses. It seemed to me to be an affirmation of Joshua's ministry. It is also noteworthy that the first response of a leader has to be worship before it can be leadership. Falling in love with Christ is the first and most important aspect of leadership.

Rob Bell spoke on the importance of a leader observing a Sabbath day of rest. It has occurred to me that if God took a day off, maybe the pastor's family should as well. He also talked about the importance of preserving family and our relationships with each other. It was a great reminder, especially in my hectic life, of the importance of family time.

Lots of other great moments, but these are a couple of the best that have replayed over and over in my head since returning home.
1. Leadership begins with surrender and worship and loving God.
2. Family is first before ministry and a Sabbath is important.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Monday morning update 10.12.09

Today was an absolute blur for me at church. We arrived a little early so I could gather stuff up from my classroom that I needed for my lesson in children's. By the time I sorted it all out, the truck showed up to unload.

We unloaded at full speed, trying to give directions on the fly to some new peeps helping out. It was great to have extra help! As soon as the stage was set, and I helped with sound check, I flew into the gym to set up children's.

Using my available help, mostly small children, I got children's set up with about 10 minutes to spare. Then I helped get nursery ready to go.

The children's lesson about cooperation turned out fine. I wish it had been cooler, but the kids didn't seem to care that it was pretty cheesy. The three legged races were probably my favorite part of the lesson. I saw an important truth. When one of the partners stumbled and fell, the other one had to stop and help them up. Running was easier hanging on to each other. Life is kind of like that. It's easier to get back up again after a failure when there's a friend to encourage you. And hanging onto your friends for support helps you live better.

I haven't asked anybody really about the adult services. I'm assuming they went well. Most all of the band and vocals were there, so that probably made worship really awesome.

Shawn is still preaching his encore presentation of "chasing the lion". Those are some of my fav sermons. I'm sure they went over well today.

Bottom line - great services, but I was exhausted by running in fast forward. I am thinking there has to be a better way to streamline set up so that it's less crazy. Today I did not have any meaningful interactions with any adults at church. That was frustrating that setting up for worship and packing stuff away later got in the way of relationships - the most important thing.

However, it was a great day. We had lots of new faces, and we are so blessed by our new space. I can't wait to see God at work this next year.