Saturday, April 29, 2006

Shaking my head

Continuing the theme of Christians who are making my job 10 times harder...

While driving through a town that I pass through many times, I took notice of a certain church's sign. A couple month ago, this church purchased one of those light up signs that can display a bunch of messages. Unfortunately, this place has chosen to put up some of the most spiteful, hurtful, almost hateful messages I have ever seen a church place in public.

A few weeks ago, the message board was doing nothing but listing all of the different types of sinners who would not be able to enter Heaven. Today, "Hell is a lonely place... You will have no friends in Hell." I actually thought about stopping and watching the sign for a while just to see what else they could come up with.

Although it is biblically true that Hell is a real place and people really do go there, the preocuppation that the sign writer has with it is most likely driving more people away from Christ than bringing to Him.

In college, we had Mad Max. Honestly, that's what we all called him because he would never stop shouting long enough to tell his real name. This was one of those guys who would come to the center of the university, stand up on a small wall around the fountain, and spend two hours sending everyone that passed by him to Hell. I personaly was condemned nine times during the second semester of my junior year.

It saddens me to this day to think of not only how much joy that man was missing, but how many people he led away from Christ.

Of course, the last thing I want to do is point fingers, because, I wonder how many times I've done that myself. How many times have I kept someone from seeing the fullness of God's love because I was too busy, or in a bad mood? Hypocrisy is too dangerous of a topic to deal with without looking at myself in the process.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Wow. I'm only two chapters into When Bad Christians Happen to Good People by Dave Burchett, and already my backside is beginning to hurt. I can tell that this is going to be one challenging, wonderful, face smacking read.

Recently, I heard of a church who had a guest come in that was less than desirable. Apparantly, one of the "leaders" greeted this person with a request to "dress better or not return." :(

I won't mention the church because I can't completely verify that this happened, but I have seen more than my share of this in my 21 years in the faith. It saddens me when I see the hospital of sinners I proclaim become a nursing home for tired saints who don't want to heal people any longer.

So, I'm going to pick this back up tomorrow and let the author challeng me even more. In the mean time, Dr. Daron is off to read up on some Biblical anatomy.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I'm a Dot Com

Well, I went and did it today. I've been mulling over buying a domain for a while now. Today I decided that since I'm going to be looking for a church to serve in, I wanted an easy way for people to access my resume, this blog, my writings on the Psalms, and other things about me. So... will now take you to my website. This blog is now known as I'm going to have my other information put up on the website as soon as possible.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tract This

I can't stand tracts. Let me just put that one out there right now. You know those little things that are filled with messages of God's love that we're told will bring the masses to Christ if we just give them out and walk away? Now, I guess I should say that they can and sometimes do work. If that happens, wonderful!

But for the most part, all I've ever seen in my 27 years has been people who use tracts to substitute building a relationship with someone who does not know Christ. Seven years ago, I was a college sophomore out with some friends at a Steak 'N Shake. As the waitress cleaned up the table next to us, there it was, a gospel tract and a note.

"This is worth more than any tip we can give you."

She started laughing. One of the more outgoing members of the group asked what was going on. Her reply...

"I'm already a Christian, and I make $2.30 an hour. I could have used the tip."

I guess that's why I'm so against using tracts like that. Two simple questions could have figured that information out. So we pooled our money together and left enough of a tip to cover our table and theirs when we left. It's ok, because I actually liked Ramen noodles back then :)

There is no substitute for actually getting to know someone and knowing their situation. If we're going to show this wonderful love that I claim, we have got to demonstrate it in everyday life! Then maybe people will see that Christ is not a religion, but a way of life leading to everlasting life!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Coffee Shop Office

What is it about the coffeehouse that makes me be able to write? I've been working for a week on a sermon that I'm going to give next Sunday. (Being a youth pastor, I get the luxury of a month notice of giving a sermon to the main church.) Well, today, I'm in my office trying to write, when the power goes out. I'm sure it was just because a squirrel sneezed 50 miles away. For whatever reason, it lasted too long for the battery backup to keep going.

So I packed up and drove the 30 miles to the nearest coffee shop for some recharging mocha, and a nice quiet spot upstairs. In the process of an hour and half, I had written the sermon, my youth message for Wednesday, and a newsletter article for the church. Then the mocha kicked in. :)

It's odd, but I think I'm more productive away from my office than in it.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

It's Official

It's now offical. I have told the church that I am going to be leaving when I get married. It's been a complete secret in my small town, that means that everyone pretty well knew already. But today, I confirmed what I have been told in prayer, that my life is going to continue at her side and not here.

It's never easy to leave anyone you care about like this. But I'm confident that God has already raised up another to take my place and lead this church, and it's students. I'm just going to miss them, though.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Same Differences

You know what? Girls are different that guys. It sounds like a simple statement, but sometimes that has been getting lost. And you know what? I celebrate those differences! I love that Melissa is different than me. She has ways about her that I can never have, and God created us that way.

Tonight, I had the girls of my youth group to come over to the gym for a special event only for girls. We had Melissa teach some of her basic self-defense, and a friend of ours teach about makeup. The girls had an absolute blast and many of them transformed into young women before my eyes.

I praise God that he made women the way He did.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Stormy Weather, stormy day.

It's about to storm here real soon. I've always had a love/hate relationship with thunderstorms. When I was little, I was very scared of them, but at the same time, I loved to see them. I'm still that way. I get a little nervous, but I love to stay up and watch them roll by. So it's 1am and I'm sitting at the computer.

Today, I had to make a trip to the eye doctor long before my scheduled yearly appointment. This past week, I haven't been able to keep my right eye from believing that my contact lens was not something trying to destroy my body. It's been getting redder than my face after reading that Derek Lee is out for 10-12 weeks.

After a while, you just get used to the way you look. So, when something changes, it takes you for a ride for a while. That's how I've been while having to wear my glasses around all week. But thankfully, there is nothing seriously wrong with my eyes. Except that the wonderful, beautiful pine trees of the Sabine National Forest have got my immune system on super overload.

So here I sit, counting the time between the lightning and the thunder. This should be a good one.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Blogging Psalm 8

Psalm 8

Every once in a while, I am completely taken back by the incredibly awesome Creator that our God is. He is an absolute artist. Everything that we can see was created by Him and for His glory! What a wonderful thought that is!

In fifth grade, I was sure I was going to be an astronaut. I used to go out with a little el cheapo telescope and check out every star I could find. I even spent time after school with the Young Astronaut Club (go ahead and laugh). It only took one time in the gyroscope at Kennedy Space Center to realize that I wasn't going to be making the Space Program. However, I did retain my love for God's Creation.

Every once in a while, I like to just look up at the stars in the huge Texas sky. I like to try to name off all the constellations and the major stars. I used to be much better at it. After reading this psalm and looking outside, it took on a strange new meaning.

In Revelation, John says that Jesus held the stars in his right hand. Just a few verses later, Jesus uses the same right hand to comfort John. Check that out. The same hand that holds the stars in the sky can hold me, too!

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him? (v. 3-4)

The same God that created the universe cares for us in ways we can't possibly imagine!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Letting Out the Cat

Dumbledore said in Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone "It's a complete secret, so naturally, everybody knows." Well, today I had to let the worst kept secret out. I leaving my church at the end of May.

It was one of the hardest things that I've ever had to do. I'm still really trying to take it all in. As much as I love the idea of getting married, it still hurts to leave these wonderful kids that I've spent the last two years with. My biggest hope is that they will continue to build their ministry just as hard as they have been while I have been here.

To any students who are reading this: Thank you for two awesome years as your youth pastor. Keep letting the Spirit roll you to greater things!

Pray for me as I look toward the future, and look for a new church to call home.


wow. Thanks to Youth Specialties for making this a featured blog! Of course, this comes right when life got absolutely crazy and my blogging time has been limited. :)

But since YS felt enough in me to recommend this site to everybody, it is only right that I return the favor by getting on the horse. So tonight, after I've been with my student ministry, I will give an update on what has been going on with my wedding plans, as well as my thoughts on Psalm 8.

I hope you like what you read here. Don't hesitate to talk to me anytime by hitting the contact information to your left.

Here is a link to the actual YS Update Newsletter featuring this blog!

God bless!