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Archive for March, 2010

My wife and I had a couple of students over for dinner on Monday night. It was fun to sit-down, talk, and laugh for a couple of hours. During this time I remembered some truths about teenagers:

  1. Teenagers are storytellers. They like recounting stories from their lives, no matter how seemingly insignificant it might be. I said this and he said that and I can’t believe he did this…
  2. Teenagers love inside jokes. They love whatever makes them an “insider”– their own language, their own jokes, their own culture.
  3. Teenagers have lots of energy. They were with us for 2-hours– and I was wiped! Those girls made me laugh, think, and try to keep up with the intensity and insanity that is “a teenager”.
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My dad was given this at a men’s convention:

Firstly, wow. Secondly, I have three questions for 1 in 3 Trinity:

  1. 1 in 3? I’m pretty sure that’s heretical.
  2. Only 10 Calories? With 1000 mg of taurine? Is that possible?
  3. Energy drink “fused” with the spirit. I’m pretty sure that’s a sin.

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As I posted earlier, as a boy I never liked working with my dad on the car… until my car was busted and the mechanic wanted $300. So yesterday I went to visit and learned how to replace the AC, power steering, and transmission belts. (I took pictures so my wife would be impressed).

It cost me $50 in parts, $4 for the bridge, a mom-made dinner, and an afternoon with dad. Totally worth it.

Lesson of the day: sons, listen to your fathers!

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Sam’s Take: Philosopher Sam Harris recently did a piece for CNN in which he claimed that religion is distracting people from real moral dilemmas.

My Take: I agree that we need to not only talk about, but take action in various social justice causes. And for Sam Harris to generalize a billion religious people as uncaring for these moral problems is ignorant. So I can only speak for myself when I say my faith has fueled my passion for these moral dilemmas! I sponsor a child in Burkina Faso, I give money to crisis’, I’ve tutored in our local high school… is this enough? No, it’s not. But to say my faith is blinding me to the world’s “real problems” is offensive, and untrue.

As a minister, I don’t only teach against the immoral acts of murder and genocide, hate and discrimination, poverty and corruption; but it’s my responsibility to interact with the root behind the acts: entitlement, greed, selfishness, rebellion, power, value… if we cannot address the root of evil, the fruit will always prosper.

Your Take: What do you think?

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We had a groundbreaking service at CSM FRIDAY NIGHTS (our youth service) last night! Students were praying for each other, lingering after the service to worship, and tears were everywhere. One student, who I don’t think is a believer said “this is amazing, how God is working in people’s lives”. Where Jesus is, no one can leave unchanged!

But a great service begs the question, what about next week? How do I build from this service so it doesn’t become an isolated experience? Here’s what I think:

  1. Did your group do anything different this week? Have them keep doing that. Many of our students took part of the Take 10 Challenge this past week. I believe that our group’s choice to seek God at home prepared us for a move of God in our service. This week we have another Take 10 Challenge: Worship for 10 uninterrupted minutes everyday this week.
  2. Did you do anything different this week? Keep doing that. I made a point to text messaging my students everyday reminding them to “Take 10”. I participated in the Take 10 Challenge, myself. I can’t forget that God honor’s my discipline, either!
  3. Did your group do anything different during the service? Keep that in mind. We ended the night in worship (after an extended time of worship), had the students come up for prayer (we usually have them write their requests), and didn’t have small groups. It seemed like we allowed the service to breathe a bit more than we usually do (we had less stuff programmed). I’ll keep this in mind so in the future we can take some time and let the service breathe.
  4. Did you talk about anything different during the service? Keep that in mind. Our worship leader spoke on how worship is introspective. He used a great paralleling story of using his car trunk as a portable garbage can, and the experience of having to clean it out. I’ll keep this idea in mind and followup on it later.
  5. Build a “monument” to remember the night (as long as you don’t get stuck there). God wants us to remember the good things he’s done in our lives. But, God doesn’t want us to live in that moment forever. He moves in our lives so we can continue to build, strengthen, and move forward in our relationships with Him. I’ll be challenging our students not to settle with this one experience with God, because He has a life full of adventure waiting for us.

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I made a video for CSM FRIDAY NIGHTS and had only enough battery for one take. Turns out my one chance had my head out of the picture for most of the time. How do you resolve such a dilemma? Make fun of yourself. Enjoy!

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My 10 Failures

I’ve failed a few times this past week. Here’s 10 that come to mind:

  1. I’ve gone out to eat more than my budget told me I could.
  2. I have yet to fix my car.
  3. I canceled a coffee-meeting with a student.
  4. Our life group meeting didn’t meet.
  5. I didn’t go grocery shopping (so now my wife has to).
  6. I’ve sinned.
  7. I missed two Take 10 days.
  8. I didn’t give several of my responsibilities “my all”.
  9. I’ve thought of myself better than I should have.
  10. I think of myself too much.

But just because I’ve failed once doesn’t mean I have to again. Even Jesus needed two attempts. So even though I failed this past week doesn’t mean I need to continue the pattern.

What have you failed at this week? What are you going to do so it won’t happen again?

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