6/18/14

Pictures of Self Control?

Airports can be very emotional places. Much of the travelling that I have done in my life and the distance between my family and me, I have a love- hate relationship with airports. I love going on the “arriving” trips to the airport and the joy that these times bring. I’m not too much of a fan of the “departing” times when a loved one has to leave.

This past week, Tracie and I were dropping my father and his wife at the airport and for about 10 minutes I was waiting in the car as they went through the check in process. Then we would jump in the car and grab a bite to eat, before they returned to board their plane.  As I was waiting I observed two very different scenarios with two very different outcomes.

One was of a family heading back to the UK. Obviously I don’t know the full story, but as the car pulled up, the son (probably in his 30’s) jumped out of the passenger seat, the Dad jumped out of the back of the car and then slowly, assisted by her son and husband, a lady slowly and cumbersomely climbed out of the front seat. This lady had cancer, I could tell by the scarf on her head and she was responding to the chemo. I could only imagine the pain. Here is a picture of a son sending his parents back to the UK, while his mum was in the midst of a battle with cancer. I speculated that there were so many questions that could be asked. What needed to happen next? Would this be the last time he saw her? As I tried to predict what the full story was, I couldn’t imagine a situation that wasn’t without great emotional turmoil and pain. The son hugged his mum with a lingering hug, got in his car and drove away.

Next up was a taxi cab. A couple got out (very obviously British because of their bright pink tan and socks
with sandals footwear) and the husband slipped the taxi driver a little tip as he made his way to check in. As he turned to walk away, the women walked up to the cab driver and gave him a long lingering hug. He received it awkwardly as she backed away and he went back to his car. As he drove away the woman stood on the curb for about 2 minutes waving at the departing cab… with tears running down her cheek. It was like the ending to a sappy love story… except it wasn’t a never to be seen again lover that was departing, but a taxi driver!

As I compared these two stories I was reminded about the importance of self-control. Here was a son who was exercising great self-control to conclude a difficult time with great respect, and here was a tourist who was ending her vacation in the US without too much self-control at all.  Scripture is pretty clear that self-control is so important if we want to live life faithfully. The writer of Proverbs reminds us that self-control is one of the things that holds society together (Proverbs 25:28).  Both scripture and life talk about the prize and price that come with ability or inability to be self-controlled.


How’s your self-control? Is it able to hold things together when things are rough or does it fall away at things that are incredibly trivial? Be self-controlled.

Jonathan's Announcement That He Can Swim

Jonathan crossed the line of being confident enough to swim with a flotation device today. Proud Dad moment...

6/17/14

How's Your EKG?


Most of the time, most of us work really, really hard for stability and security. We try to ensure that we have the right people in our lives that will help affirm us. We strive to ensure that we have earned the right amount of money to ensure that we can have some material stability. We attempt to eat the right kinds of food and to do sufficient exercise try to minimize insecurity within our health. In so many ways the whole journey of our lives is one that is looking to find the right level of security and stability. Sadly, many in our western society accomplish this.

Recently I was reflecting on the changes that have taken place in my life over the past six months as I have traded a very stable position for one of incredible risk. Ironically, one of the reasons that I turned my (and my families’) life upside down was because security was getting predictable and inhibiting what I was wanting to accomplish with my life. Now, almost as soon as I jumped into the unknown, I felt a strong craving to be safe, secure and boring again. Part of me longed to get to a point where my new venture would become safe and secure, one of the very reasons I had embarked on this new venture.

As I was reflecting on this dynamic with a counselor, he wisely asked me if I had ever been to visit someone hooked up to an EKG heart machine at the hospital.  I’ve seen such devices hundreds times. He asked me what was happening if little red line that such machines produce was constant and flat? “Well”, I replied, “It means the person has died”. They have flat-lined.  Then he asked, “What does it means when the line is full of ups and downs?”  The answer, obviously, is that the person is alive and healthy.

One of my learning curves over the past weeks is to embrace that to be alive means that there will be highs and lows, ups and downs, and peaks and valleys. So often I want to illuminate these and just hold onto a safe, secure, level, flat life. But to actually achieve that goal would actually mean that I was dead.
Living life fully is SUPPOSED to have highs and lows. It’s supposed to bring moments of elation and despair. That’s really living. I want to live differently than I previously have. I don’t want to let “flat lining” stability be my goal.

If somewhere were to put a spiritual EKG machine on the state of your heart would it look like a graph with highs and lows or would it be flat lined? Embrace the journey.


6/11/14

TV45 World Cup Special

I love getting to talk about two of my favorite things - Faith and Football! Make sure you check out the video I referenced in the clip at this link here - www.ThePrize.com

6/8/14

Never Once

As we are just 4 months into this Church Planting adventure, the words of this Sunday define my experience so far. I was asked the other day by someone why this song as never made it to the mainstream. After reflection, my answer would be that sadly most people don't take the necessary steps to risk something significant and thus miss out on the incredible blessings of knowing that we are actually, really, completely never ever alone.


6/6/14

You Can't Make This Stuff Up - Part 5,799


Zoo employee shoots man wearing gorilla suit with tranquilizer

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
An employee at a zoo in the Canary Islands accidentally shot an employee dressed in a gorilla suit with a tranquillizer dart, according to a report.
The worker in the suit fell to the ground and was immediately transported to a local hospital. By the time he arrived at the hospital, he was in serious condition from an allergic reaction to the dart that is powerful enough to put down a gorilla.
The employee was wearing the suit because of a practice drill preparing workers for an actual animal escape. The veterinarian who shot the dart at the man was not aware the exercise was taking place.
The zoo is Loro Parque located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.

The moral of the story is...

5/12/14

Finding Peace - Sermon Notes

FINDING PEACE

Turn, push or click to: Luke 7:36-50

A story of a peace filled former prostitute and a
 pompous Pharisee

Peace is found in extravagantly worshiping
 instead of excessively worrying. (V36-38)

Rather than worrying about what people must say we must be prepared to 
break social convention to honor Jesus.

Peace is found when we are released from a debt we can’t pay. (vs40-43)

Our ability to receive forgiveness determines our level of peace.

 Peace if found in Soul Righteousness rather than Self Righteousness. (vs.44-46)

Our soul is primarily satisfied when we give rather than receive

Peace is found by focusing on faith rather than failure - (vs 48-49)

We are commissioned to focus on the future, rather than live in the past.

 “Go in Peace” (vs50)

Impatient Patients - Message Notes

Impatient Patients
Patience: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”

The Symptoms

Impatience affects everything and everyone

Diagnosing the Impatient

·         Is it because you are being immature? (Hebrews 5:14)
·         Is it my selfishness and lack of grace? (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)
·         Is it because you just can’t wait for something great? (James 5:8-9)
·         Is it because I am materially motivated? (Col 3:1&2)
·         Is it because I haven’t learned to be content? (Phil 4:11)
·         Is it because I am insensitive to God’s attempts to make my life better? (James 1:2-4)
·         Is it because I see an injustice that seems unfair? (Matt 21:12-13)

The Prescription – Psalm 40

Understand that God responds to our patience (vs1)
 It gets us through precarious places and stabilizes things (vs2)

So wait

Patience is the often the only way to experience deep joy (3 &4) · Therefore, trust is the foundation of patience. Patience and truth breed humility (vs4)

So trust

Only in God’s strength and power can we succeed. (vs 5-8)
            Therefore we put God’s agenda first (vs8)


So expect