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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Product Placement

Hello my friends, this is my 27th post I think. That is a lot.

Things have been great lately. My birthday came and went and I am now the big 2-6. I had a great birthday and actually got a lot of cool stuff. My father and brother-in-law got me Mario Kart, and I am pretty addicted. I connect on Nintendo WiFi and play people around the globe. I love beating people from Japan in their own game :) My wife got me Wii Fit, which is awesome. However the first thing it told me when I got on was that I was overweight and it made my character fatter. But it is cool to get a workout while playing video games.


Anyhow, I got other stuff from great people, but what I wanted to talk about was what my friend Mike Hall got me. He bought me Francis Chan's new book called Crazy Love. Check it out at http://www.crazylovebook.com/. If you have read any of my other posts you know that I have mentioned Chan before. He is a Pastor in California and seems to the most sought after speaker at every conference I go to anymore. But for good reason.
His book is challenging the norm of what we have become as the American church. He is asking some great questions. What does it look like to really love God? If we say we love God then shouldn't our actions reflect such an expression? If we truly loved God then wouldn't we thirst and hunger for every waking minute we can spend with Him? Does it ever seem like doing the things of God have become an obligation? And the big kicker... Are we truly in love with God or are we just in love with the benefits of God?

The book discusses the true meaning of what it means to be a lukewarm Christian and to be honest with you I don't think that many of us fall into any category but that one. Do we offer God our leftovers or do we give Him the first of everything we have? Do we worship God in our good times and our bad? If Heaven a was place with every thing we ever wanted... money, food, friends, stuff, happiness, fun, joy... but God was not there, would we still want to go?

If you can't tell, I highly recommend the book. But don't get it if you don't want your toes stepped on. Don't get it if you are satisfied with the status quo. Don't get it if you are happy with lukewarm.

Well, after my birthday dinner at Spaghetti Warehouse (love the place) we watched Prince Caspian, which was amazing. If you don't know anything about it, it is based on the book by CS Lewis and it is full of spiritual metaphors. The main theme of the movie is that you should never do anything without making sure that God is leading you to do it, and if you don't know where God is leading you... you must wait on Him.

So this post seems to have been one big commercial. So remember buy Wii Fit, Mario Kart, Crazy Love and eat at Spaghetti Warehouse and watch Prince Caspian. And don't forget mainly that you need to rely on God, and ask Him to give you a desire to fall in love with God all over again.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dundies

Hello everyone,

It has been a pretty eventful little while for me. Last week we took the 6th to 10th grade students to see the new Expelled movie starring Ben Stein. It was just as incredible as I thought it would be.



It was real interesting to see all of the evolutionists backpedal when confronted with just some very basic questions. It was also interesting to hear these scientists who are supposed to be really smart talk about their theories on the creation of the Earth. One guy thinks that it is more feasible to believe that the Earth was created as a result of tiny crystals, and yet another believes that the Earth was created because it was "seeded" by aliens. (politically correct term for any readers who might be children) Anyhow, it is hard to leave that movie without having a lot more faith than before you walked in.



My wife and I are going to go to the ESPN Zone with some friends this weekend and I am very excited about. And I am going to the Rays game on Saturday and I believe this is a team that is heading in the right direction. They remind me of the Bucs. First new uniforms, next a new stadium, and then the team starts to be a winner. Should be fun.



I am also pretty excited because not only is my birthday coming up (May 20) but there is also a movie coming out that I am ultra excited about. Prince Caspian is going to be released on May 16th. Here is a little semi-trailer/behind the scene vignette of the movie:

video


I am really excited about this and I have been teaching on it in youth group for the last two weeks and I still have one sermon left in me. For those of you that don't know, C.S. Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia as one giant Biblical metaphor. He made the parallels deliberate but vague enough to where you have to search for them. It is on this journey of understanding that you truly begin to understand the prestige of Narnia.

If you know nothing about the movie, the only thing you need to know is that Aslan represents God and the White Witch represents Satan and then you can watch the movie with your spiritual glasses on and you will be blessed from it.


For my spiritual portion of my blog I want to point out that just like the kids traveling through Narnia were not in their home, we are also not in our home. We are just passing through this place and this place wasn't created for us. Therefore we should not be tempted by the trappings of this world because this world is not our home. We should also be as ready as possible for the day when Jesus comes and takes us home. The main way to do this is to make sure that you don't go home alone. Use this movie as a way to reach out to people who would never go to church with you, but they would go to a movie with you. Just don't go home alone.

I have been reading a lot of youth pastor blogs off of the list on http://www.youthpastor.com/. I like mine the best, but I am biased. I have noticed though that a lot of youth pastors like to give out awards. That is what I am going to do right now.


I am going to hand out the NorthRidge Dundies. (If you don't know what a Dundee is, watch The Office on NBC.)

The Jim Halpert Dundee that represents the person who jokes with everybody in a nonchalantly sarcastic way go to: Pastor Bill Hatley

The Kevin Malone Dundee that represents the person who seems to always find where the food is at goes to: Pastor Michael Bartlett (I am coming for you to get that title)

The Dwight Schrute Dundee that represents the person who can obviously find and devour a werewolf and catch a bat from the ceiling tiles goes to Pastor Harold Butler

The Stanley Hudson Dundee that represents the person who won't take anything from anyone but will handle all situation with his classic, respected sass goes to Pastor Terril Gilley

And finally... the Michael Scott Dundee that represents the person who should go to Spencer gifts and by himself a mug that says World's Best Boss goes to Pastor David Myers

Thank you for attending the Dundees, see you nest year a Chili's near you.