22 December 2010

3 days and counting.

I know, you are thinking I'm talking about Christmas, right? This time, I'm actually not. I'm counting down the working days until I am taking the next step in this risk I am making for the new year. You see, Laura and I are moving to Dallas for me to enter into ministry.

We've done the job hunting, and it seems like we keep missing the mark, but that may be changing. Laura has a chance at a pretty good job at a large women's ministry, and I am still looking for something for me.

So here we are. We are making a step without knowing that there is floor to catch us with the next step. Is this responsible? If we had kids, I would say "no", but since we don't yet, I'm not nearly as worried about it. We have taken some precautions. Our home is going on the rental market with the new year, so that should cover the big bill. Our cars are paid off and we've saved a little for the move. I'm finishing up my BA in February (finally) and moving on to Seminary in the fall. We have spent more time in prayer about these decisions than anything else I can remember other than kids, and we have peace when we think about these "risks".

That's something that I think is funny. We call these decisions "risks", but if we are following God, is there really any risk? Laura and my relationship has improved, our personal emotions have lifted, and we are truly happy. That doesn't sound like the effects of taking a risk to me. Usually, when I am coming up on a risk, I a stressed out, grumpy, and unsure of what is ahead. Now, I am happy, eager, and ready to make the leap. It seems that risking for God is not risking at all, it is doing the one thing you are built to do.

So let me encourage you. It does not matter what it is, but pray to God before taking a risk. If you are following his lead, you will feel peace. That is how to be responsible about life and your family. God will deliver you from any strife, if you follow him and give him the lead. So stop being so independent and follow God. If he has a "risk" for you, jump in with both feet and ride the wave for His glory, not for yours.

20 December 2010

A thought from a song

I listened to Casting Crown's "While you were sleeping" on the way to work this morning. Have you heard it? If you have, you'll know what is coming, but if you haven't, check it out, it's well worth the $1.29 on ITunes.

Casting Crowns reall catches America clearly in talking about first Bethlehem and the the US. How is it that we have been shown the King, yet we still turn away from him. What other man showed his power and grace through miracles and resurrection. I look at the things that many churches focus on and wonder. Why is the greatest miracle of Jesus his own resurrection? With all of Jesus' miracles, why is this seen as the biggest?

It seems to me that it is even greater for him to have raised those who had died as he traveled from town to town. I also see his walking on water as greater. Or his feeding of 5000 with only a few loaves of bread and fish. His greatest sacrifice for man was without a doubt his torture and crucifixion, but his resurrection is held as most important. Why?

Jesus' resurrection and later his ascension to heaven proved that the things he taught were true. We see in scripture that others do "magical" things, just look at Moses and the Pharaoh's magicians. But no one raises any from the dead except for Jesus and those given the gift of resurrection by the Holy Spirit. That is why his resurrection is important. Jesus' resurrection shows that life after death is not a lie, but reality.

"While You Were Sleeping" really makes me think about the birth and resurrection of Christ. Here we see the image of Jesus being born in a barn because "there was not room in the inn." Jesus left his place at the Father's right hand to be a man. How do our lives echo Bethlehem. Do we make sure there is always room for Jesus in our lives? I know I don't always. Even as I search for work in ministry and prepare myself for Seminary, I crowd my schedule so much that I miss community group or time in the word.

Looking around America, we do much the same. How much about Christ have you seen this Christmas? I've seen plenty of Santa. I've seen tons about sales and parties, but not one nativity has been seen in my surroundings. In church and community group we've talked about him, but I haven't seen him much outside of there. This is not to say i have not felt his ever present guidance, I have, but I have not done my side of the bargain and showed him to all around me through my words and actions. In a country where it is okay to kill an unborn child but we have to "save the trees," we have to set out to keep Christ in our lives and to welcome him when he returns. Will he find a place to rest his head when he returns? I'll have a place for him, will you?

15 December 2010

Risk...putting it to the test.

I recently read Risk by Kenny Luck and I'm trying to apply it's lessons to my life. I shouldn't really say it's lessons, as it simply reveals Jesus' lessons in a different way, but Luck did well. Now here's the kicker, God's putting me in the position where I have to apply it. Laura and I have been planning to move to Dallas so I could go to seminary after finishing my BA for some time, and we have been job hunting as well. Now as we approach 3 weeks from the move date, Laura and I have both been unable to find jobs, and we really don't know where we are going to live for long. My parents have offered up their house until we get ours leased, but i know my mother and I do better loving from a distance (our personalities are like water and oil!). So here we are moving to Dallas, with no jobs and no permanent residence. God is giving me tests, and I will survive. I know he is calling me into the fire, and all steel must be tested by fire before it is cured. I only ask for your prayers as we step out into this next chapter of life.

It's not often...

I rarely link to any one else blog, but a good friend of mine posted this piece on trust and it stood out to me.



06 December 2010

PTSD Dogs...

Had a friend of mine send me an article from Yahoo about service dogs for PTSD affected veterans. All I could do is think how great an idea this is. Here's a few articles on this.



So the question I have is this- Would these dogs be accepted as service animals in non-military communities? I'd love to get one of these dogs to help me with my battles with PTSD, but to have one and then walk into my church or school with it might not be accepted freely. For those that know me well, you know I love dogs. I have 2 pugs, but i can't see one of them being truly effective in this role for me. I have thought about getting a mastiff for Laura, but I could look into getting that dog trained to fill this role for me. What are your thoughts?

02 December 2010

So, I have a question...

For those of you that read this, here's a question for you. What do we need to make our churches more attractive to men? I'm watching a series called "Why men hate church" and it is talking about some big changes in church that could bring the guys in. When I look at the church of today, many of these things are done, but there are others that aren't. As far as the reason why... I don't know. So what do you think? Ladies, no offense, but this is really a question for the men, as we're the ones that are increasingly being pushed from the church due to unintended things that are done, while the attendance of women is growing.