Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Birthday Weekend

My Birthday

Had a great weekend with the family.  We celebrated my 33rd birthday (very holy age I might add).   Having 3 kiddos now, Mel and I laugh at how "flexible" our plans have to be on birthdays! We were still able to do everything Mel had planned for the day, it just was more interesting with 3 kids in tote!  

We had a blast getting breakfast at Einstein Bagels (my kids still think they were donuts).  We forgot the diaper bag at home and didn't realize it till we were already at breakfast.  So we cruised back to get it from the house, drove to a park in the area to do cake and gifts.  Then we came home and got the kids excited about Grandma coming over.

My Birthday Present
(opening my own present hasn't happened in 4 years)

Then Mel and I took off to the Grove in downtown Houston.  Incredible restaurant and great vibe. We stayed there the whole night, then cruised home and crashed!  It was amazing to have a few hours of uninterrupted grown-up conversation.  Hard to come by these days!

(Mel enjoying the cool night air on the walkway at Discovery Green)

Terrace View
(The view from our outside table upstairs)

Thanks Mel for a great're the best wife a man could have!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Core Issue

So this is a heated election and I have found passionate Christians on both sides of the fence (politically speaking).  As you can read on my wife's blog, we have been following Voddie's blog as he has been doing quite a bit of research on both candidates.  We are really trying to make an informed decision on which way we will vote.

What we have come to realize in our many talks about the election is this:  Our vote must be run through the filter of our Christian faith.  As soon as faith enters the picture, so does the infamous question of Pro-life vs. Pro-choice.  

I know all the statistics.  I know both the Republican and Democratic sides.  I know some say there are "bigger fish to fry."  But, the reality is that this issue will weigh heavily upon mine and my wife's decision.

When things get thick like this for me, I usually go to some of our current heroes in the faith for their thoughts.  Below is a video from a frequently quoted pastor - Dr. John Piper

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Great Read

What I Read

What an incredible book I'm reading right now. This one that I'm taking slow, not trying to rush through. I find that there are numerous paragraphs I just want to read again and again. I want the words he writes and the scriptures he references to drop deeper into my soul. Here are some quotes that I've read lately that are simmering within me.

"I believe that much of the American churchgoing population, while not specifically swimming downstream, is slowly floating away from Christ. It isn't a conscious choice, but it is nonetheless happening because little in their lives propels them toward Christ."

"Leftovers are not merely inadequate; from God's point of view (and lest we forget, His is the only one who matters), they're evil. Let's stop calling it 'a busy schedule' or 'bills' or 'forgetfulness.' It's called evil."

"Many of us believe we have as much of God as we want right now, a reasonable portion of God among all the other things in our lives. Most of our thoughts are centered on the money we want to make, the school we want to attend, the body we aspire to have, the spouse we want to marry, the kind of person we want to become...God is not someone who can be tacked on to our lives."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sunday to Sunday

As we’re headed into our Sunday experience tomorrow at Crossbridge, I can’t help but to keep thinking about last Sunday. See, we are constantly evaluating our Sunday morning environment through many different lenses. Some are of the spiritual nature, some just plain logistical.

In regards to Sundays, the staff typically asks the following 4 open-ended questions about our Sunday mornings.

• What went right?
• What went wrong?
• What was missing?
• What was confusing?

So, I didn’t wait till Tuesday this week. Chuck and I went at it right when we got there on Monday. We both knew something wasn’t right and it mainly centered around the musical section of the services.

Although both services were musically up to par and the transitions executed seamlessly, there was a void. Numerous trusted sources say the sound was incredible. So why did it seem that the music fell so flat?

Here are the songs we did:

Sing, Sing, Sing (Tomlin – celebratory opener)
At the Cross (Renstrom – new song, thicker lyrics)
Faithful (Fee – very familiar, easy to sing)
Jesus Paid it All (Focus Song before talk)
Broken Cisterns (Renstrom – Communion Song)

I think I could have intro’d the new song At the Cross better and perhaps spent more time teaching how the verses go. We quite possibly have sung Faithful into the ground (I read recently that once a congregation has sung a song 30 times, the words become rote to them). Sing, Sing, Sing – not sure on this one. Jesus Paid it All went over a bit better in both services. Actually seemed to be the highlight. Broken Cisterns I’m not too worried about because we basically sang that over the crowd as they took communion. Solid song.

As you can see, I still can’t quite nail down reasoning…maybe God is doing what I can’t see. Maybe everyone was really bored out of their minds. Regardless, these kind of mornings spur me on to think more deeply about our next Sunday.

So I’m less than 24 hours away from our next Sunday. I know we are well prepared, but we were last week too. My heart is for people to experience God in a way that transforms their lives. I know that God is sovereign and does what he pleases. My prayer is that he moves greatly in our midst tomorrow!