Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Speaking at Real Life

I'm speaking at our weekly meeting tomorrow. What should I wear? It's got to be hip enough to connect with college students, but nice enough to build some credibility. This decision should not be taken lightly. Pray for me....my talk and my clothes.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Entropy

This is from our pastor, Brian Hopkins. He talked about these at our weekly meeting last wednesday...

Spiritual entropy is a constant threat to vibrant spirituality thus, we must exert the energy needed to keep our faith strong and our spiritual fires burning bright.

Webster’s defines entropy as: a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder.

Spiritual Entropy Markers

#1: No passionate and consistent impartation of faith to the next generation.

#2: We focus on our abilities, strengths, and status to accomplish God’s purposes.

#3: We limit ministry to a few elite and trained professionals.

#4: Our desires and impulses begin to rule our lives rather than the Holy Spirit of God.

#5:We cry out to God for help because we are facing pain but not because we are truly sorry for our sin.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Where have all the leaders gone.

This issue just came in my mailbox...it's a special leadership issue. Check it out here...especially the story about authentic leadership. It's kind of fascinating...well at least for me. I'm strange sometimes.

The central question

Keith Bubalo (the national director of WSN, a division of Campus Crusade) recently sent out these devotional thoughts. There about spiritual leadership...enjoy! Anything related to leadership...specifically spiritual leadership has been grabbing my attention lately.

"I was recently reading “In the Name of Jesus” by Henri Nouwen, subtitled Reflections on Christian Leadership. His thoughts are from the temptation of Jesus (Matt. 4) and from Jesus calling John out to follow Him at the campsite by the lake after the resurrection (John 21).He is talking about relevance in the first chapter, and how becoming a priest or minister no longer seems worth the dedication (published in 1989) because the world around us looks for secular answers and not spiritual ones. And then he says,

The secular world around us is saying in a loud voice, “We can take care of ourselves. We do not need God, the church, or a priest. We are in control. And if we are not, then we have to work harder to get in control. The problem is not lack of faith, but lack of competence…”

God grabbed me on that last sentence, to ask how much I am leaning on increasing my competence, rather than increasing my faith when I face personal or leadership issues. Now, I’m not saying I should be content with personal incompetence. But I’m sure I too often work on that as “the solution” to what ever my struggle or issues might be, rather than ask myself what this might have to do with increasing my current trust quotient. Or as Jesus said to his disciples in Luke 6:25 after stopping the winds and the waves, “Where is your faith?” Not, “Why are you such poor sailors and meteorologists, to get in to such a situation and not be able to get yourself out? Wake up, stop being such pathetic fishermen!”

I also wonder how much with our values of faith, effectiveness, and development, (now faith, fruitfulness, and growth) we assume we’ll stay focused on growing in faith. We have developed models to help us make decisions, plan ministries, send students, understand evangelism, figure out healthy emotional development, and they all have their place. And none of these are divorced by nature from a life of faith. But we have to also be strong to stay with a message about growing in trust in Jesus. I know it is “easier” to have someone talk to me about thinking through my decisions better than to ask me something that in some way might imply that I just might not be experiencing a deep abiding trust in the character and sufficiency of Christ! Ouch. How judgemental of them to suggest that! That I might not be trusting God like He wants me to? How dare they imply I might need to grow in faith! Why, the nerve of those Pharisees! But I’m (usually) okay with “coaching” to improve a competency. So, what is that all about?

So, the point for me is a personal one, not really an organizational one. Am I looking first and foremost to Jesus, the author and perfector of faith (not the perfecter of my competencies)? I really want to. I just don’t want the storms, winds, and waves that go with all of that “perfecting”. I generally want to have a good quiet time and be full of faith that day. So, pray for me! And I’ll exit with another quote from Henri’s book:

It is not enough for the priests and ministers of the future to be moral people, well trained, eager to help their fellow humans, and able to respond creatively to the burning issues of their time. All of that is very valuable and important, but it is not the heart of Christian leadership. The central question is: Are leaders of the future truly men and women of God, people with an ardent desire to dwell in God’s presence, to listen to God’s voice, to look at God’s beauty, to touch God’s incarnate Word, and to taste fully of God’s infinite goodness?"

Sincerely, Keith

Friday, October 20, 2006

The push up

In one of the men's small group Bible studies I'm leading we've challenged each other to do 20 push-ups for every day that somebody else in the group misses spending time with the Lord and being in his Word. Keep in mind there's about 8-10 guys that come regularly. Just a healthy reminder of getting in the Word.

...so last night the amount I had to do was 140. Actually I have 24 hours to do all of them. I'm on 110, but I don't know if it's physically possible for me to do any more.

Cheer me on folks!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

North Korea

I thought this was interesting...it's a picture of the Korean peninsula after 9pm. Apperently Kim Jong-il shuts down electricity everywhere in North Korea after 9pm except Pyongyang where him and his entarouge live. Compare that to booming South Korea.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A big group hug


Today I have a my first conference call. I feel like a big executive....but I'm not. It's with all the Northwest partnership coordinators...should be fun. Especially since Matt Mikalatos is leading the discussion. He's craaaazzzyyy!

What do you do on confence calls? Do I just listen. Is there some order of talking? Hhhmmmm...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Politics or comedy you decide...

Last night MSU hosted a debate between Conrad Burns (R), John Tester (D) and Stan Jones (Libertarian) ....and I attended. Now you must understand that this race is becoming national news because its a hotly contested seat in the Senate that the Democrats are hoping to take back. It was actually televised on C-span...did you miss it?

Before I get to serious I've got to tell you that this debate was more like 3 cartoon characters facing off and pointing fingers at each other. Sure there were some serious moments but the comedy overshadowed it all.

Conrad Burns accusing Jones being affiliated with the mafia and Tester being a terrorist. Tester accusing Burns of taking away our civil rights forever and supporting a federal tax of 23%. But by far the most outlandish statement came from Stan Jones...apparently President Bush has been in secret meetings with Canada and Mexico about creating a super highway through North America and creating one currency...the 'Amero.' It was like he was crazy...pointing fingers, yelling and telling everyone that everything is unconstitutional! "Do away with Government!" The crowd goes wild!

All that to say...I'm tired of politics. I used to pay close attention and give my two sense, but I tired of it all. I just feel skeptical that whoever I vote for can accomplish much of anything....but have a great day.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

mmm....saturday morning.



After a busy week...there's nothing better than a rainy saturday morning with these two things...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pringle fun!

I'm doing this ice-breaker thing in my freshman small group tonight. Feel free to try it at home. Take a can of Pringles (or anything for that matter) and put it on the ground. Now, without any part of you, other than your feet, touching the ground, go ahead and pick it up using only your teeth.

Go ahead try it.