November 17th, 2009
Another week has gone by! What has gone on this past week? Well, Wednesday was staff meeting (as always), but then Thursday was special. Thursday and Friday the staff went on a retreat of sorts. When I was told about the retreat, I though it would be a retreat in the (what I thought to be) traditional sense. I figured we would be going somewhere and take a few days to get away from everything to clear our heads, relax, hang out, etc. Well, it wasn’t quite that. It was still a retreat, though, because we used it to get away from everything, go to a different place and plan out what next year would look like. Slight miscommunication, so no big deal. Here are my takeaways:
*If what you’re doing doesn’t line up with the original purpose of the organization, you need to stop doing that thing.
*My church is awesome because they’re willing to give up and/or do whatever it takes to keep in line with scripture and what it means to be a church.
*Getting away from your normal surroundings is really beneficial for the advancement and progression of ideas.
*You need to evaluate yourself regularly to see how well you are doing, or not doing.
*It’s cool to see how God will put the same thing on the hearts of many.
*I love my staff because I can be in the same room with them all day and not get sick of them.
*Sometimes doing what is necessary can be painful/frustrating because that means you may have to give up something you’ve poured a lot of effort into
So one of the big things that I learned at the retreat was in the form of a Bible verse: Matthew 28:19-20
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
There are four actions in this verse: Go, Make, Baptize, and Teach. What did I learn from this? They all affect each other: if you’re not going out, then you’re not making disciples. If you’re not baptizing, then you’re not going. If you’re not teaching then your not making, etc etc. They’re all related to each other and when one suffers, they all suffer. I think of it as a system. A system can work with a weak link, but not as effectively. Even better, think of an engine. An engine can work with a less oil than it needs, but it’ll blow up pretty soon. Or you can have your fuel injectors not be clean and not injecting a lot of fuel into the piston chambers, but the car will still run, albeit roughly. When all the components of the engine are working as they should, the engine runs great. Same with this verse. When a church is going, making, baptizing, and teaching, it is as healthy as it can be. That’s what all Christians, and therefore churches, are called to. So am I going? Am I making, baptizing, teaching, etc? Is my church? These are the questions that we asked ourselves and used to evaluate where we were at, and where we need to go.
This is why I’m excited about where our church is going. We recognize that we have a lot of spiritually young Christians and we know that we need to start teaching them. We’ve gone, we’ve made, we’ve baptized, now we need to teach. But we can’t stop going, making, or baptizing either. We need to keep doing all these things to be a healthy church.
Here’s to the future =]
Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve last updated, and I wanted to fill you in on what’s going on! The internship I’m currently in at my church, Crossbridge Christian Church, has been awesome. Part of the requirements for the internship is that I do a journal. Well, I want to share that journal with you! Here’s my latest entry…
November 3rd, 2009
So, if you noticed, I’m not writing on a Thursday! I’ve decided to change the way that I write my journals a bit. Instead of writing on thursdays, at the end of my week per se, I’m going to write on Tuesdays, at the beginning of my week and reflect on the past week and what I learned. So why am I doing this? Well, I want to be more focused on thursdays. Tuesday is my primary get-random-office-stuff-done day and thursday is my primary creative, work on projects day. Well, I have an hour carved out on Tuesdays (today) to work on projects, but for me, it takes a little while to get my creative juices flowing, so I thought, why not take the time that I would be spending on my journal on Thursday and move it to Tuesdays? That’ll be great and give me more time on Thursday to work on projects and be creative! It’s a win win.
So not much has happened since last thursday, but we’ll still talk about a few things. Something I learned from this past sunday is to be thorough in preparation. I set up the sermon slides for sunday morning with all the verses our pastor uses and the songs we sing. I made a few mistakes in not checking to make sure EVERYthing was congruent. I checked and made sure the sermon was correct, but I didn’t check to see if the songs were all the same font and size. Well, we get to the second song in the set and the font is MUCH smaller than the previous. This is an issue for multiple reasons. 1) Our screens are somewhat far from the front of the crowd, and that makes it even worse for those in the back. We use a large font so that everyone can see what is on the screen, and to not have a larger font is an issue. 2) It is unprofessional and negligent. Simple as that. I want to aspire to excellence and the fact that I didn’t make sure everything was correct beforehand was an issue. If this was for a client, this wouldn’t go over well, so I need to have the same standards as a company would have of excellence. Shoot, mine need to be higher so that I represent the body of Christ better. Not that we are better than everyone else, but that we aspire to excellence because we represent God to the world. Our God is excellent, why shouldn’t we be?
So one of my favorite new TV shows is Kings, on NBC. (Watch it on Hulu!!) It’s based on the life of King Saul and David, from 1 Samuel/1 Kings. After watching a few episodes, I was inspired myself to start reading what the Bible had to say, and to see how accurate the show is. It’s been an awesome experience. I’m not quite at the same spot Kings is at, but I’m catching up. Anyway, I was reading in 1 Samuel 12 today, and I read this chunk:
“19 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.”
God doesn’t want us to stop serving him when we screw up, when we sin! He wants us to continue serving him because he realizes that he’s the best thing ever. Israel is his people, and he didn’t want them to keep running away from him.
How similar is that to us? I know whenever I sin, serving God is the last thing that I think about. I think I’m not worthy and that I won’t do a good enough job. “I screwed up God, how can I serve you?” But the thing is is that it’s not up to us! We were saved by faith, so how can our actions screw that up? We are saved by the Holy Spirit, and we are cleansed by the Holy Spirit. It’s not up to us. Our actions don’t screw that up. So Christians, be encouraged. You’re never too far from God. Continue serving him! Don’t stop!
So go read 1 Samuel 12:19-25 for yourself. Read it. Chew on it. Sit in it. Be encouraged (verse 20, 24) and Challenged (verse 25).
(I’m still not quite sure how to deal with a verse like 25 for Christians… but it is sobering. However, don’t think of how much sin does it take for me to separate me from God, but rather live your life in the light of the Gospel. Continue serving and pursuing Him, and that won’t be a concern because your heart and focus is on God.)
It has been FAR too long since I last updated. Things have been crazy as of late… I’ve been at a conference, working on 3 websites, designing logos, creating a MoGraph piece, etc. It’s crazy. But I love it!! I’ll be writing soon(ish) about the conference I went to, Gurus of Tech. I took plenty of pictures and look forward to sharing them with you! But, as the title suggests, this is a journal entry. I feel it’s appropriate for what I’ve been going through lately and look forward to blogging, once again =].
“This is a weird time in my spiritual life. I’m learning not to be driven by guilt, but then what am I driven by? I should be driven by grace. For example, my main struggle is with my quiet time. I usually would spend an hour in the word, praying and reading. Now, it’s usually about 30 minutes. I reach a certain point, and I think to myself, I would only be continuing because I feel bad for stopping. But then I stop because I’m doing it out of guilt instead of out of love. Where’s the disconnect? What the heck am I doing wrong, or right? Should I in the moment of “I’m continuing because I’d feel bad, ” then try to change the motivation to: “I’m loving God this way?” I think so. I think my motivation for having a quiet time is being revealed through this thought, by the point of “If I stop, I’ll feel bad.” I think it’s showing that maybe I’m not going into it with the desire to please God, but rather I’m doing it because I know it’s right and it’s what I should do. Is continuing loving God?
Is this love? Doing what you have no desire to continue doing? Or is that merely commitment? I think commitment flows from love. So I may not feel all warm and gushy, but I am loving God by continuing with the mindset that I’m loving God this way, and not because I’ll feel bad otherwise. Now where are my emotions?
Jeez, I need to realize the God of the UNIVERSE wants to spend time with me! I’m saying to God, “Hey, I’ll catch you later.” I’m turning down an opportunity to spend time with the one who loves me the most in this world! For what? So I can go eat? Go see what’s new in the tech world? Not that those are bad and shouldn’t be enjoyed, I just need to get my priorities straight, and enjoy them in the right context.”
Hope this is encouraging, friends. Please, Comment! Share your thoughts and feelings!
All I have to say is this:
visit this site and bookmark it.
(It’s my new website! told you some crazy things are in the future =p)