Monday, December 24, 2007

Once

Some good friends of mine and Mel's came over to the house last night because they desperately wanted us to see this movie. I'm glad they came...it was incredible. Thanks Pablo, Iris, and Ernie! I immediately went to Itunes and downloaded everything I could and text my buddy Mike to share the musical wealth! :) The music is passionate and the lyrics are great. Here's a little montage from the movie Once...hope you like it.

Merry Christmas!

Note: If you do decide to rent the movie, be prepared that the first 10 minutes are littered with curse words. It gets much more palatable after that. :)


Monday, December 17, 2007

The Saga Continues...


I received this picture in an email from a friend...supporting my move to name our boy CASH. Though some of you may be surprised, I have had a good majority of women actually liking the name! This was a female friend of ours that sent the picture and she's totally for the name. I'll say this much...Mel is even growing more fond of it. Ha! This boy is going to be happy I went the distance for him on the name CASH. I still have till March and I'm not backing down!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How They Find My Blog

I'm amazed sometimes at what people type into google and stumble upon my blog. Now, a buddy of mine discussed this once on his blog and it began a chain of "googling" that was pretty hilarious. You can read it HERE. Anyhow, nothing as crazy on my blog, but I'm amazed at how many people google "Gotee Trimming" and end up here. I talked about it in a blog back in March of '06 called The Barber Shop Church.

Hope all you Gotee trimmers are finding all your gotee trimming needs fulfilled on on my site. If you have taken some gotee trimming cues from my site, please feel free to leave me a comment letting me know how I've impacted your life in such a way. In case you're wondering, my gotee trimming specs:

Length: No Guard
Gillette Mac 3 Razor and Small Scissors for detail work. Plan on carving my initials in there one day.

Or maybe Mel's initials?

Or T + M.

Or T+M=3 Kids.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Rough Week

Haven't had a chance to blog this week...it's been pretty rough around our house. Our little princess had a virus that had her temperature up around 104.5 for 2 days straight. Thankfully, everything has passed and the doctors says she's in the clear now.

She was such a trooper! In those two days, she went between the doctor's office and TCH in the Med Center a number of times. She had to endure 4 Shots (2 really big ones), blood drawn from her arm, a catheter, and xrays. It was tough to watch, but she came out like a champ.

Here's a picture of her on the xray table...with Rufus her favorite dog. :) Since Mel is pregnant, she can't go into the xray room, so I get to be the bad guy! She's looking at me the whole time like "Why would you do something like this to me?"



Now we're back to dressing up and wearing purses. Good times.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Worship Pastor Spoke

So I recently taught at our church on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Yeah, I know…save the 2nd lowest attended Sunday of the year for the worship pastor to speak! And the people that are there are still overdosed on turkey and pumpkin pie. Seriously though, it was a fun morning. I love our people and we had a great time together.

Anyhow, we spent most of the morning discussing worship, but not in a musical sense. One of my chief desires since we started Crossbridge over 5 years ago has been to help our people understand that worship so much more than the music we play or the songs we sing.

Since we live in a church culture that typically equates worship with music, it’s really hard sometimes to break through that mentality. I do it every Sunday morning as I say, “Why don’t you stand with us as we worship!” I feed the mentality that the music piece of the Sunday morning worship experience equals worship. So, I’m working on my vocabulary and I’m looking for other words to communicate similar meaning, but a broader view of worship.

We discussed our “working” definition of worship at Crossbridge that is sort of a hybrid of Harold Best, Tim Keller, and Louie Giglio all rolled up into one! This is what we stated…

Worship is our continuous outpouring response to God’s Self Revelation.

I could go into this definition a lot more, but it would probably be easier for you to either listen to the talk or pick up Harold Best’s book called Unceasing Worship.

One of the things that hit me the hardest as I was preparing for this sermon was that I never stop worshipping. Nor do I start worshipping with God. My worship merely gets transferred from a lesser god to the one True God. I worship. Every moment is worship. The Question is “What Am I Worshipping?”

So I’ve been faced with this question daily since I spoke…What Am I Worshipping? There is a war for my worship and someone is winning. I am giving all of my mind’s attention and heart’s affection to something or someone. Unceasingly. Outpouring.

What I’m finding is that these nonsense gods seem to get a lot of my attention…a lot of my worship. My worship to God (Jesus Christ) must be an act of my will. To willfully turn away, and turn to Christ. I still struggle.

What Would Jesus Buy

I love the "Gotta have the Christmas Spirit with my new rims!"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Ripple Effect


I couldn't stop reading...then praying...then reading...click here -

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More John Piper

Oh man, this is good...the content of this video is incredible. My church is wrapping up our series called EPIC where we have been really caught up in the gospel story. My heart is far from the place that Piper talks about here, but man I want to be there.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back To It...

Hey ya'll,

I'm back to blogging after a little hiatus while my family and I went on vacation. My mother-in-law gave us some free tickets to Disney World! Mel's sister lives right across the street from the park, so we had free lodging too! Not to mention, she's a manager at the Maggianos down there in Orlando, so we got free italian food two nights in a row!

Very long road trip...two toddlers and 22 hours to Orlando was crazy! But I must say, my girls did well. We had some little surprises along the way to keep them engaged for the long haul. I think next time we will look for an airline donor (say another grandparent) to hook us up with flights!

Maybe I'll have some pics a little later...

In other news...I'll most likely be moving in a slightly different direction with the blog. Since I am a worship pastor, I still plan on having posts about worship and other stuff along those lines. However, I have realized just how difficult it is to write about worship all the time...so you're likely to see some nonsense posts and more of my family journey here as well. If that sounds really boring to you, you’re welcome to unsubscribe to my blog. Though I don’t think anyone has subscribed to my blog.

I also thought the blog was looking a bit morbid...so I thought I'd brighten it up a bit. I'll be tweaking it along the way, but I like the brighter look.

Think that's all for now...

Oh one last thing...I got a call from a good friend of mine tonight. She got Mel and I tickets to a house show with Ross King. So, in a few weeks, I'll be sitting in a living room with Mr. King discussing the stories behind the songs I posted about a few weeks ago. Good times...

Friday, November 02, 2007

CASH

So Mel and I have come to the place where we have to begin deciding our "boy name." I have held on to the hope that this would be a no-brainer. However, that hope is fading as the name Cash is not even on Mel's radar. So, we decided to put this one out on the blogs for your feedback. A simple yes or no in the box below will suffice. However, if you would like to give your reasons why you think we should use this name, feel free to do so. :) All negative comments can be left at Mel's blog! You can vote in the right hand column.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Lovely Inbox

Please save my inbox! I will continue to receive the following highlighted emails until you visit Mike Haskew's Blog.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What to do when you don't have time to blog...

You post a video.

I gave this to my wife as well, so you can catch it on her blog too. I think Driscoll handles Lakewood theology well without bashing Osteen himself. What are your thoughts?

BTW, interestingly enough, someone signed me up to be a partner of Joel Osteen Ministries today. I received my confirmation email this morning. I have my thoughts on who the culprits might be. All I have to say is that you should be expecting a rather large shipment of the Your Best Life Now board games. COD.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ross King and Me



Well, there's no real relationship there...but I do have a couple short email conversations with him. Regardless, his new release "Perhaps I've Said to Much" is on high rotation on my IPOD. The lyrics are amazing...I love how he goes after some of the prevailing issues in the local church, yet he doesn't seem to exclude himself from the dilema either.

If you have $10, go to Itunes and download it. The songs I'm digging are Light of the World, Greatestneverever, Keeper of the Way, Happy (this song is slightly hilarious and convicting at the same time), Everybody Medicates, and Home (if you're adopting, have adopted, or thinking about it, this song has great perspective).


Monday, October 01, 2007

Wrecked this Weekend

I have had a weekend where God’s just been hammering on me…here’s how it looked.

- Friday – reading two books in the same vein “Don’t Waste Your Life” and “Irresistible Revolution” (thanks Aaron and Jamie). Check these books out; they’ll rock your world.
- Saturday – ran sound for a missions banquet in the Galleria area. The lone survivor of a terrorist attack on some US missionaries in Iraq a few years ago was speaking. Her name is Carrie McDonnall. All I have to say is that she had 22 bullet holes in her body and lived to tell about it. She lost her husband in the shooting though. All this and she’s my age…literally looked like somebody that would go to our church. I told my wife I just stood in awe for a moment after she spoke…about 5 feet from her, seeing the bullet holes in her arms, missing fingers, realizing that was the closest I had ever stood to someone who was nearly martyred for our faith. Holy moment for me. She’s the real deal.
- Sunday – My pastor Chuck gets up and ends his sermon with two challenges. One: get involved with the Convoy of Hope in November. Two: join the Advent Conspiracy. Check these two things out…incredible stuff.

Here’s a quote from Piper that sort of sums up my weekend.

Why don’t people ask us about our hope? The answer is probably that we look as if we hope in the same things they do. Our lives don’t look like they are on the Calvary road, stripped down for sacrificial love, serving others with the sweet assurance in heaven (Matthew 5:12)! “You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14). If we believed this more deeply, others might see the worth of God and find in him their gladness.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Worse

Only one thing in this world worse than Barney.

Christmas Barney in September.

Thank you grandparents.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What's On My IPOD?


Some may not care, but thought I’d share. These are the songs, artists, or albums that are in high rotation on my Ipod.

Robbie Seay BandGive Yourself Away – by far the best recording from these guys. I’ve listened to the whole CD, but now I’m just stuck on #3 called A New Day. Maybe cause it makes me think of my wife, but wow…what a good tune. My pastor read the lyrics to Beautiful, Scandalous Night in our service 2 weeks ago…powerful stuff.

Jeff JohnsonGlorious Day – The title track on this CD is great. There are some other good tunes on there as well, especially if you’re a Rascal Flatts fan. :)

Billy and Cindy FooteIf I Say I Love You – Just a single track available on Itunes. I heard it at a conference they did a while back here in Sugar Land. The song just grows on you. Not a lot of worship songs hammer down on obedience like this one does.

Matthew and LiziThe Meaning of it All - Great project from a buddy of mine down here in Houston. He and his wife Lizy make a great team. The title track on this one is really nice…if you like Watermark, I think you’ll like Matt and Lizy.

Spur 58Sleepwalkers – These guys are great. This is another album where I get stuck on a particular song…I really dig Ready to Love. I just loop it sometimes when I’m exercising. Great jogging song.


Bon JoviLost Highway – Laugh if you must, but it’s like a corridor to the past. My favorite 80’s band with all new tunes.

Kellly ClarksonMy December – The girl can sing…she’s pretty angry on this album, but the song Sober is incredible.

Sandra McCrackenThe Builder and the Architect – If you like Caedmon’s, she most likely wrote one of your favorite songs. Great rootsy type album, especially like I Boast No More and Rock of Ages.

Marc BrousardHome – Friend of mine got me hooked on this guy. The title track and Lonely Night in Georgia are the highlights of this album.

Half Past ForeverTake a Chance on Something Beautiful – I’m a big Chris Sligh fan. He has some great tunes on this one. My favorites are Know, Cry Tonight, In a Moment, and Tunnel Vision.

Guess that’s all for now…let me know if you have some new tunes I should add to my playlist!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Found an Old Post

So, I was sorting through my blogs, realizing I had never posted this one. So I thought I would. The only thing not true here is that I did not go to San Antonio a couple weeks ago. :)

The title of the post was to be "The Church is Smaller Than We Think"

Two weeks ago I ventured off to San Antonio for a little personal retreat. I try to go a couple times a year to meet with another worship pastor there that I really admire. While I’m there, I try to spend a great deal of time in silence while I listen for what God has to say. The next couple posts will be from an overflow of things God spoke to me during that time.

One area that I spent a great deal of time exploring was the topic of conversion. It started in my staff meeting the day before as we discussed a book called The Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. Though at times this book has seemed pretty dry to me, the chapter on true Biblical conversion really rocked my world.

The main thought: We all know there is some contingency of people in our churches that are not converts. However, we are becoming increasingly numb to the fact that there are many more people in our congregations who think that they are converts, but are not. Therefore raising the total number of unregenerate people in our midst!

Why does this rock my world? Because when the worship team leaves the stage on any given Sunday that the crowd participation is sub par, the common phrase used to describe that situation is this: “Man, what was up with them today…they were dead!” Oh how true that statement is…within in our crowd on any given Sunday, is a great number of DEAD people…no pulse, no breath…merely corpses!

So why are we surprised at a lack of response from our people? Can we expect anything more out of a lifeless being? We cannot cause them to come to life…and creating puppets that clap when we tell them too is fruitless. We have to open our mouths and let the gospel go forth! We have to pray diligently! But the actual act of breathing life into dead people…only Christ can do that!

So, I’m not going to be depressed because everyone didn’t raise their hands when we sang the song Unchanging and it tells us to “raise up holy hands.” I’m going to open my mouth, let the gospel go forth, pray for God to do what only He can, then sit back and wait on God.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thunder


I love what the Message says in John 1:23…in more conservative versions you hear John the Baptist say “I am the voice of one calling in the desert…make straight the way of the Lord.” Then you have the glorious Message version: “I’m thunder in the desert: ‘Make the road straight for God!’" I love that…THUNDER. Clear. Concise. No ambiguity.

It makes me think of our roles as worship leaders in the church…are we thunder in the desert? Or are we merely a voice, drowned out by all the other voices of our culture? Our people walk in each week and a battle is raging for their worship. A thunderous approach may be the very avenue needed to break open the haze of mediocre worship that their lives are prone to be characterized by. You can’t mistake thunder…especially a loud clap of thunder. There are times when thunder hits that it actually shakes my entire house, causes my dog to bark, and moves my kids to tears.

As worship leaders, do we come each Sunday wanting to thunder about the greatness of King Jesus or are we more concerned about “being heard?” There’s a difference. Our lives should thunder about the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. That’s what we shout about…that’s what we sing about…When we stand on Sundays to lead people, it will be clear who we serve, and our proclamation can be a voice or a thunder. I want to live a life that thunders about the one whose sandals I’m not worthy to untie.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Lesson From My 3 Year Old

So my wife is pregnant with our 3rd little baby! We already have two little girls and they're rocking my world. I never dreamed I would do so many pony tails...even the little "bam bam" ones on my 15 month old! Anyhow, my wife was battling some morning sickness this evening, so I thought I'd try to put both the girls down by myself.

Well, I got their teeth brushed, their milk ready and their dolls in hand. I started with the youngest and asked my 3 year old to stay out in the living room with mommy. She laid on the couch with mommy and I was off to the nursery with the little one. The kiddos sleep in different rooms, but we keep all the clothes in the nursery.

So I finished with little girl and came to get big girl from mommy. I started to put her pajamas on and quickly realized that the pajama bottoms were left in the nursery. Well, if you have little ones, you pretty much know the shrieking that you are in for if you return the room before they have fallen asleep. But I had a plan...

I left her top on and remembered there was a pair of green bottoms in the laundry room. So, I grabbed them, got her dressed, said our prayers, and then put her down for the night...fast forward 10 minutes.

I hear crying from her room along with my name thrown in a few times. Not a usual happenstance, so I thought I should check on her. I walk in and she's standing up, right in front of the door looking up at me. I say, "what's the deal?" She looks down in great disappointment and then looks back at me and says... "Papi, my pajamas don't match." She was heartbroken...

This is not uncommon for my daughter...she is a creature of habit and there are certain things that must be in place for her to go to bed. They are small things, but oh so necessary. So it got me thinking...

How do we respond when things aren't ideal...when our pajamas don't match? Do we stand there crying and whining because our world has been interrupted? Are we immobilized until things return to "normal?" Am I really any different than my 3 year old?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Is God Better Than Sex?

Love to know your thoughts on this video. Piper knocks it out of the ballpark and pretty much nails our culture. If there's any question that he may be missing the mark a little bit, just go look at all the comments under the video on YouTube.

Chew on This...

Wow! This is a terribly convicting quote, but one that really resonates with me right now. Seems that even Scotland in the 1800’s struggled with some of the same issues we face here in wonderful Suburbia of 2007. Pastor Robert Murray M’Cheyne says:

I am concerned for the poor, but more for you. I know not what Christ will say to you in the great day…I fear there are many hearing me who may know well that they are not Christians, because they don not love to give. To give largely and liberally, not grudging at all, requires a new heart; an old heart would rather part with its life-blood than its money. Oh my friends! Enjoy your money; make the most of it; give none away; enjoy it quickly for I can tell you, you will be beggars throughout eternity.


Ouch…

In the same breath…I received a poster from John Piper this week to promote his book Don’t Waste Your Life. All it said in big bold letters was “GOD SAVE US FROM THE AMERICAN DREAM.”

Thoughts on all this?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Howl at the Moon!


So recently I went to San Antonio for vacation with my family. My wife and I cruised up to stay a night there, not realizing that you should probably have a hotel reservation if you’re driving up there on a Saturday. We did end up finding a place to stay…in Austin.

Anyhow, we ate on the Riverwalk…as everyone should when visiting. Afterwards, we began our quest for a place we could sit and relax for the rest of the night. After spending an incredible night at Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans 6 years ago, we have longed to see another great dueling piano show.

So we swung by Pat O’Briens on the Riverwalk to see if they had the show. They did…but oh, so not New Orleans. Then Mel saw an ad for a place called Howl at the Moon. We went to the tourist center (across from the Alamo) to find out more about this other dueling piano show. They ended up telling us where it was and gave us free tickets if we went before 10 p.m.

Well, it was good we got there before 10 because we were able to actually get a chair! That placed filled up in no time and the show was on. From Jesse’s Girl (for my wife) to Piano Man (for me), we spent the night singing some of our favorite tunes along with about 200 other patrons. These musicians were pretty stinking amazing!

Upon leaving, we realized just how popular this place was. When we arrived, we walked right in and to our seat…as we exited, there was a line of about 100 people that wrapped around the block. Wow.

So, this little story serves to preface my point…we saw all kinds of worship that night! Now most of the worship was directed to inappropriate places, but it was worship indeed.

The people worshiped the boos that made their pain go away. They worshiped the song. There was worship directed towards the various military branches of our armed forces (not that I don’t value what they do…please don’t misunderstand me here). Some worshiped sports teams and colleges. Others worshiped half dressed women who could “shake it.”

Everyone was captivated by something…myself included. I was captivated by the sheer musicianship of these people onstage, wondering why they don’t use it for the kingdom.

Why do we settle? Why are we so prone to worship things that have no eternal value and end up leaving us wanting more? Why are we more captivated by people than we are by the person of Jesus Christ?

CS Lewis says it with even more eloquence and conviction:

"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Randomness...

My wife recently did this on her blog and she has lovingly tagged me to make an entry on mine. I’m sure these statements will revolutionize your thinking and will most likely cause you to visit my blog regularly for more of this good stuff!

10 Random Things About Me

1. If something falls on the floor in my house (i.e. kids toy), I am very prone to pick it up with my feet rather than waste all that energy on bending over to pick it up with my hands.
2. If no one was watching, I would drink a whole can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk in one sitting.
3. When I watch Seinfeld episodes, I don’t laugh. Really…I don’t know why. It’s just not funny to me.
4. When I watch Friends episodes for the 100th time, I laugh just as hard as I did the first time.
5. I sometimes still think that a check for a very large amount will just show up in my mailbox. I sort through it expectantly, but have yet to receive one.
6. When I was a kid, I used to watch MTV religiously waiting for Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” video to come on. I would get really ticked off when they would instead play Weird Al’s “Eat It.”
7. Since 9/11, I check the news about 20 times a day. CNN is my homepage.
8. Since 9/11, I think twice before I go somewhere without my cell phone.
9. I think JC Penny’s and Target sell some of the coolest clothes for guys.
10. I think Chick-Fil-A has trumped every other fast food chain on milkshakes…and the word “handspun” just makes it taste better for some reason.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Worship and Hardwood Floors


“If we only trust Christ to give us gifts and not himself as the all-satisfying gift, then we do not trust him in a way that honors him as our treasure. We simply honor the gifts. They are what we really want, not him. So biblical faith in Jesus must mean that we trust him to give us what we need most—namely, himself. That means that faith itself must include at its essence a treasuring of Christ above all things.” –John Piper, from the book Don’t Waste Your Life

There are many facets of this quote that cause great conviction in my heart.

One, if I believe this quote to be true (I do), then any sinful sense of material entitlement that I think I have is shattered to pieces.

Two, I hate to think that I honor the gifts he gives me…I would never “literally” bow down and worship my hardwood floors he graced us with in our house. (If you have small children, you know what a blessing these are!) However, when I see those words “honor the gifts,” my heart cringes! When I hold tight to those things instead of clinging to Christ, I am in essence bowing down and worshipping a lesser God…regardless of whether my physical demonstration of that worship is evident or not.

Three, the line between want and need is so blurry in our culture.

Four, would I still worship and follow Christ from here on out if I never received one more physical “blessing” or gift?

This book “Don’t Waste Your Life” is rocking my world. I highly encourage you to pick it up. You can even read it online for free by clicking HERE.

I look at the years of my life leading up to this point and see how many I wasted on trivial things. I don’t want to meet Christ face to face and say that I spent more of the resources he gave me on things of this world than I did on things of his kingdom. That would be a waste of my worship. It would be a waste of this life that is simply “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Worship Industry

Hmmm...good stuff here. I know McLaren has some strong critics for the stances he has taken recently, but this is a great video that The Work of the People put together with his thoughts on the Worship Industry.

Only Doug Heffernan...

There are few things that can move me to such a spiritual experience like Doug Heffernan on the keys...

Monday, June 18, 2007

God Spoke Through a Spinach Salad


I was recently at one of my favorite lunch time establishments enjoying what could possibly be termed the world’s best salad. Up until about a month ago, I really thought that a salad of this caliber only existed at one place called CafĂ© Express. However, that salad has now been trumped and is at a distant second in comparison to this one. I could go into great detail here, but let’s just say this is a man’s salad…complete with meat and potatoes!

Anyhow, I was sitting down with a book and my salad and enjoying each minute. I remember nearing the end of the plate and setting aside what was surely going to be the premier bite of salad…saving it for that last delectable mouthful. (If you like food as much as I do, this is a normal practice.) You want whatever the last bite is to just linger there for a while, not to be washed down by any sorry drink of water.

So there it was…the final bite, full of all kinds of goodies. I thought, I’ll read one more paragraph and then sit back and enjoy that small piece of heaven on a fork. Then it happened…while I was reading my book, the waitress dropped my check off and proceeded to pick up my plate and tell me that she was glad I enjoyed the meal. My heart, stomach and taste buds all sank at the same time!

I couldn’t stop her, cause then I would look like the fat guy that just can’t stop eating. Yet, I’m sure the utter disappointment showed all over my face… “I can’t believe she’s going to really take that plate…the last bite…the one I was cherishing…waiting for!”

And so it was…GONE! I left that restaurant very disgruntled. What was shaping up to be an incredible lunch in a great atmosphere turned tragic. Not to mention that the 2nd to last bite had only a green bean and a piece of lettuce without any dressing on it. Therefore, what was to be the 2nd to last bite became the last bite. So that’s the flavor that was left in my mouth…a green bean. How depressing.

Then it hit me on my drive back to the office…how often do I savor the word of God as I savored that spinach salad? (not very often.) Do I get as angry when something disrupts my time with God? (not usually.) Do I long for His Word to linger in my heart the way I wanted that salad to linger on my taste buds? (not really.)

We’re all so prone to finding greater joy in God’s creations than in the Creator Himself. I love that He thought of Spinach Salads with Meat and Potatoes…just for guys like me. However, my heart needs to find its satisfaction in His all surpassing greatness! I’m on a journey in that direction…I just have to watch out for the last bites of Spinach Salad that are destined to steal my heart’s affection.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Good Soldier

Below is a video that is causing a major stir in cyberspace. It's from one of my favorite pastors Mark Driscoll. After watching, I'd love to know your comments. I may comment after everyone else as to not skew people's thoughts.



Monday, May 14, 2007

Love Bites


Oh yeah…the old Def Leppard tune. I was huge into Def Leppard when I was a kid…especially during "fast skate" at the roller rink! (Not to mention a few other hair bands that we’ll save for a later discussion)

However, the title jumped in my head when I was thinking through the past 5 years of our church. I think it would be a fair assumption to say that we as a church staff love our people! However, over the past few years, I think collectively, we have hurt more people than I can stand to count.

It seems like every time I turn around, we’ve hurt somebody. Sometimes it’s people we deeply care for and have been journeying with for quite some time. Do I think we ever intentionally set out to hurt people? No. I would wager to say an emphatic “NO.” I know these guys pretty well and I don’t think anyone around here sits in there office thinking about how they can really “stick it to” somebody…especially someone they love.

So why is it that so many have been hurt in the short existence of our little church? I would say mainly because our love is not perfect. We may have every intention of communicating love to our people, but we miss the mark quite a few times. I believe all my fellow staffers are great at owning their mistakes and trying to move on from that point. Again, not perfect, but I do see intentionality in that area.

Another reason I think so many have been hurt is because we are prone to misunderstand the definition of love. “Romantic Love” like we see on TV and in the movies pretty much distorts our reality. All we see is this myth that love is a warm embrace, a long kiss, and beautifully crafted words strung together.

Back to reality…those words and warm embrace don’t do anything for me when I’m getting ready to walk in front of a speeding Mack Truck. “Biblical Love” steps in and says…dude, there’s a large Mack Truck coming your way…you should consider your next step.

Finally, I think that one of our worst relational enemies is what I’ve heard some term as the “ladder of inference.” Somebody does or says something that doesn’t quite sit well with us…and then we begin this subtle ascent up the “ladder of inference.” We begin to “infer” what may not really be there. Step 1 – I can’t believe she said that… Step 2 – I would never say anything like that… Step 3 – She really doesn’t like me… Step 4 – Why should I even try at this relationship? Step 5 – I’m out of here…

I try not to make my blogs too long because it can be sort of daunting to see a lot of text…so I know there is much more we can say about this. However, I know this…in order to be in real community with each other, we have to realize that sometimes love does bite. (Sometimes with intentional truth and other times with unintentional neglect) Regardless, we have to extend grace if we want our relationships to have any sort of depth or longevity.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Why?

A buddy of mine blogged a while back with just a list of "why" questions. It's probably a short cut for blogging, but it actually is stuff that runs through my mind on a regular basis. Some of it might be spiritual in nature...other stuff is quite possibly just complete nonsense. Some of these...probably most of these, I don't have answers for.

1. Why am I fascinated by watching bowling on TV?
2. Why am I even more fascinated by watching fishing on TV?
3. Why did I not try out for American Idol?
4. Why are some worship guys weird? Really...
5. Why does there have to be conflict?
6. Why do I like food the way I do?
7. Why isn't Jack Bauer actually a real person?
8. Why does my Pastor keep putting books on my desk to read?
9. Why don't I start putting CD's on my pastor's desk?
10. Why don't I like to read like my Pastor likes to read?
11. Why are there worship conferences?
12. Why do I wish I lived somewhere else, but year after year I stay in Houston?
13. Why do I have a problem sitting still enough to hear God?
14. Why do we judge other churches and their approach to reaching people?
15. Why do we call the time before the pastor speaks "worship."
16. Why don't I try to teach our people that worship is more than the 15 minutes before the pastor speaks?
17. Why does lighting make such a big difference in my ability to connect with God?
18. Why don't some people like coffee?
19. Why do people like tea?
20. Why do I laugh really hard at Cingular, Geico, and Budweiser commercials?
21. Why am I not as perceptive as my wife?
22. Why didn't I buy stock in Starbucks like 10 years ago?
23. Why do people still "yahoo?"
24. Why am I certain that Google and Starbucks will one day merge?
25. Why don't I know enough about "code" to make my blog look the way I want it to?

Figure that's enough for now...I could go on for quite a while, so I might do this every once in a while...you know, fills the gap when you haven't blogged in a month...if you call posting a video "blogging."

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sex Ed Video

This is hilarious...LifeChurch.Tv is doing these promos for their new series. Since our church is currently in a series called Sexual Revolution, this video really peaked my interest. Check it out...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Do You Tip Your Hat?


I was totally blown away by a passage I read today by one of my favorite preachers. I am a Charles Spurgeon fanatic, so I love to chew on his writings quite frequently when I sit down to read.

Today he expounded a bit on Psalm 34:2

“My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.”

Spurgeon says that boasting in God should be a “holy glorifying and extolling the Most High with words sought out with care that might magnify His blessed name.” I love the line “sought out with care.” How often do we speak flippantly with words of rote and repetition about an awe inspiring God? How “boastful” is that? It’s more a tip of the hat…a lack of boasting…quite possibly boasting in ourselves because we’re glorifying our apathetic attitude towards a Holy God.

Instead, could we come to God with “words sought out with care” because we have sat and soaked up the presence of this infinite God we serve? When God comes and shows various facets of His character to us, it should increase our boasting in Him and the words we choose to articulate that. Our “worship vocabulary” should be growing in proportion to our relationship with Him.

The effects of boasting in the Lord are seen here in the scripture above… “the humble (down trodden, weak, struggling, hurting, poor, wavering…etc.) hear it and are glad!” Our boasting in the Lord has an effect on people…our worship to God helps move others to worship. But how many people are moved by a mere regurgitation of religious banter? Let’s allow our spoken worship to God to be influenced by fresh encounters that come from “tasting and seeing that the Lord is good!”

Friday, January 05, 2007

Winds of Change


So the worship team at Crossbridge is definitely in the midst of a new season. Something I began to realize nearly 6 years ago is that my worship team will constantly be in flux. For so many years I wanted to have my select few musicians that led I worship with and that was it. Basically we were a band...but God began to show me that within the context of the local church, that might not be the best approach. For one reason, it often lends itself towards exclusivity, all the while there are many talented musicians and worshipers in the church whose strengths aren't utilized cause we "already have our 5 people to make up our band." I also began to watch people go through their various seasons of life...marriage, babies, job transfers and etc. This typically led to someone leaving our team/band.


So, for the past 5 years, we've instituted rotations and have increased the size of our team from about 7 to nearly 25. I do often miss how musically "tight" a band can be...but I wouldn't trade what God has done in our midst through all these various people!


So here we are again...for some reason God is moving people out of our worship ministry. I am always amazed to see what He brings our way when there are departures! I hate to see people leave, but when the winds of change begin to blow, I now become more excited than scared. God is up to something...don't know what it is, but I'm in for the ride.


What is our response when winds of change blow? Often times these seasons can bring some of our deepest moments of worship. As I stated in a previous blog...no matter what, our proper response is always worship!