A Little Bit About Me...

My photo
I have many hats that I wear. I am a husband and father. I am pastor/teacher at my church. I am part of a team working on a large project at work. I am a friend. I am a budding visionary. I am a writer, an actor, and a director. I am an artist. I am a student of the Bible. I have a brain that comes up with some pretty crazy and interesting ideas, and I have a personality to match. I try to treat all people how I would like to be treated. I strive to be steadfast, immovable in my faith. I seek after the TRUTH, and I believe that it can be found, not just 'from my perspective', but for all people.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rules with no relationship equals rebellion.

This is a famous buzz phrase that renown youth speaker, and apologist Josh McDowell is known for.  Parents and young people, sit and think about how meaningful the phrase is.

Parents, I was just listening to a Winkie Pratney podcast where he tells the story of a young man that, while he was growing up, had a prophetic word on his life that he was going to sing in front of thousands of people for the purpose of evangelism.  His parents (who I believe were a pastoral couple) cracked down hard on him to keep him on the "straight and narrow".  Because they were so involved with their own ministry duties, they didn't really have the relationship to be able to parent him the way he needed.  The young man rebelled and became famous on the world stage, as a music artist.  You can see traces of his struggles in his music, but for a time, he didn't want anything to do with the church.  Eventually he did come around.  He left his "world stage" band and began a solo career, where his Christianity came through.

It is a tragedy that happens too often.  When I was reading through the book, God's Generals, it was disturbing how many times there would be a story of someone doing incredibly well on the mission field, or as a preacher, but they would lose their kids due to neglect and the bitterness that the kids would have.

Ministry should be an overflow of the heart.  What you put in your heart is also what fuels your heart.  What you get out is a direct result of what you put in.  Garbage in, Garbage out.  Are you at a point where you think only of yourself?  Are you at a point where you consider your family only?  Are you at a point of overflowing to others?

Love your kids.  Spend time with them, even when you are too tired.  I sat and watched the shark special with Logan last night.  He loved it!  It was about whale sharks.  He kept thinking about the Go Diego, Go! episode with the whale shark named Lucy.  It was cute.  He fell asleep before the end.

I plan on building the relationship with him, and working on building trust with him, so that when the times where rules have to be made, he will know that I have his best interests at heart.  It's not that I don't expect resistance from him, but he will know that I love him.

With the hectic nature of our culture with working long hours and doing our best to survive and keep up with the person next to you, we can sometimes get too busy to actually parent our kids.  If we don't establish the relationship when they are young, it will be that much harder to do when they grow up.  The way I see it, my first ministry is to my family, and then the overflow goes to others.  If my family is not in order, what business do I have trying to speak into other people's lives?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Here Comes Trouble!

We were out clothes shopping for our kids one day.  I came across this T-shirt that would have been for someone about Casey's (my youngest) age.  I don't know, maybe I am just getting too sensitive as a parent, but I wouldn't want something like that on my son.  The message that it puts on my child (even jokingly) is that he is "trouble", that he will cause an issue, or that he is misbehaved.  I wouldn't want him to think that he was trouble to his parents.  He's amazing... full of potential... a little rough and tumble boy.  He's fun.... ready to take on the world.

I was checking my email the other day.  I got an email from one of my favourite youth ministries.  Teen Mania/Acquire the Fire has a new theme each year.  A few years ago it was "Live the Difference".  Last year released the idea of "Battle Cry for a Generation".  This year's theme was released recently... "Here Comes Trouble".

If you know anything about Ron Luce (Founder of Teen Mania and ATF), you know him as a man  of faith, love and vision.  His goal is to reach this generation for Jesus Christ.  He pours out his energy finding ways to speak to teens in ways that are relevant, and shows then the importance of the Christian life.  He also works at training other Christian leaders to do the same.

ATF events tend to be causing controversy more now than in the past years.  Often liberal media tries to paint ATF events as "Ron Luce's Army", even though no one attending would agree.  People have begun to protest ATF events claiming that attenders do not think for themselves, and that their morality is being forced on culture.  There is such a lack of objectivity in much of the coverage, but at least there is coverage.

Anyways, here is the focus.  It is all about how living the Christian life will create opposition.  Christians are supposed to walk in love, gentleness and meekness, but also speak the truth.  It is that truth that people often have strong opposition to.  God's Word is the standard the Christian should live by.  

Now, being a father and a person working with young people, I hope and pray that I will be able to help my children and those I minster to come to a point where they choose to follow Christ.  I pray that they will find the strength of character to live out their faith.  As they do I'm sure there will be those that will see them and say, "Here Comes Trouble".

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Beginning...

With all of the tumult of life, and with emphasis on how busy my life already is, I have decided to add a blog to the things that I do. My wife and I are leaders of a ministry to young people aged 9 to 12 years old. We call the group Infuzion. Infuzion has two basic focuses: 1 - on helping young people move as far along in their walk with God as they are able to understand, and 2 - helping those same young people find and develop their talents and giftings, and then encouraging them in them while they use them to serve God.

The concept is this... When a person is young, like under the age of 6 years old, most of who they are going to be is established. Most call these the formative years. We have a theory from watching others and from our own experience. Those same formative years seem to occur in a person when they choose to follow Christ. I have seen many examples of people that have come to Christ, and then been under some sort of authoritarian church leader, and I have seen some that have come to Christ and then been lead by someone that encourages their flock to become all that they can be. I have also run across many situations where someone comes out of the bad situation, and they still lives unde the negative beginnings of their faith. They never quite feel like they are good enough, or that they can do something that they really want to do.

A person's faith formative years can define who they are going to be for the rest of their life. It can be good, or it can be quenching.

What I want to try to do with this blog is to apply the Infuzion principle to different aspects of life. Infuzion has never been an idea that was meant to just hit the 9 to 12 year olds that we minister to. It is something that all who wish to be Christians should apply as well. Too many people have been squashed by words and attitudes of other people. God should be the one that defines who we are. Wasn't he the one that created each of us?

My pastor uses this little anecdote that he heard at a conference a few years ago. He says that the most valuable piece of land there is, is a graveyard. Think about all of the potential that died with those people... the books that could have been written.... the inventions that could have been made.... the businesses that could have been built.... the sermons that could have been preached.... the songs that could have been sung... all of the things that people could have accomplished but didn't because they didn't reach their full potential.

As a beginning, let me encourage you to reach for those things that you dream of. Try those things that you are interested in. Who knows? You may be incredible at them! Go after all that God has for you. Don't be afraid to try, and yes to sometimes fail. Learn from the failures, and pick up and try again... or even something else. Some people have talents that they have been afraid to use out of fear of what others might say or think. Others have talents that they have not used in years just out of neglect. God gave you those abilites. Go back and use them... refine them.

It is interesting the doors that you can unlock when you just apply these two ideas... Go after God, and use ALL of your talents for him. It is a change when you choose to be Living Infuzion.