Sunday, January 28, 2007

Song of Solomon Dance off

We had an awesome time at Song of Solomon this weekend. We had a dance off, scary!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Are you ready?

This is a pretty neat video.

Dear Cingular

Dear Cingular, the new At&t.  We have been together for almost 7 years.  Gosh, has it really been that long?  I think it started right after highschool, I left a familiar place where I knew all my options, I knew where all the towers were, I was comfortable.  Leaving that place, I had to find another option, the one I had been with for so long wasn't available in my new location.  I went out looking, listened to the advice of close friends, and I chose you.  At the time, your name was BellSouth.  I wasn't the biggest fan of your name, but your towers were quite nice.  You covered a lot of area near my dorm.  We would talk for hours and hours, it was such an awesome time.  We would go on long trips together.  I remember one time, we went on a trip to Omaha, Nebraska.  We flew on a plane together to buy a new Jeep Wrangler.  Sure, I had to store you away for a few hours, but we talked 4 hours on the way back, it was so fun. 

Sure, we had our dropped calls sometimes and you hung up on me, but I still always forgave you when you would call back.  I have kept up with our timers, and I think we have spend a few months literally talking.  Just in the past 3 years with you, I have talked with you for 36 hours.  That's 3 days straight with no breaks.  We have spent so much time together. 

To be honest, I have checked out the other networks.  I have even flirted with the idea of leaving you and going somewhere else.  I've talked to other guys and heard what they say about their relationships, it does sound good.  I am tempted.  You have done a lot lately to keep me interested.  You expanded your territory.  You changed your name.  You have even given me new options on ways to talk to you, I have many choices and technologies to choose from. 

I called you the other day and even talked about the future and what I am thinking. I asked you about the process of what it would be like if I changed.  You didn't beg me to stay, you didn't ask me how you could improve, you didn't ask if you were doing anything wrong, you were just going to let me go. 

What do I do?  I am so confused.  Most of my friends are moving over.  All and all, I am happy with you.  I feel like if I go, you'll entice me back and make me sign a contract with you.  Maybe I will stay with you, no contract for now. 

Monday, January 22, 2007

Theory of The Lord's Supper

So for many years as a child, my mom taught me that I should not drink after people.  We weren't germ-o-phobes by any means, we just didn't drink after anyone.  My mom always drank diet mountain dew, I remember her or my brother telling me that all your spit resides in the bottom and the "last sip" as it is called is a deadly one.  Well not really deadly, but nasty would be a better term.  So for my entire life, I never or I should say rarely drink after someone.  Dating is about the closest I will come to even think about drinking after someone.  So I say all that to set the stage to my theory, don't worry, it's a short one. 

It has been argued to me that I would have not done well at the Lord's Supper.  To get an idea of what the last supper with Jesus would have been like, think about a bunch of guys, sitting around, sharing deep conversation and reclining, these guys are just chilling out.  Jesus is giving them some directions about what is going to happen in the future.  He gives the example of the bread being His body, He breaks it and passes it around.  He uses the wine as an example of His blood, He passes the cup around.  So it was argued that I could not have been one of his boyz because I wouldn't have drank after anyone.  Okay, so here is the deal.  I have it figured out.  I want to be John.  See John was the disciple that was close to Christ.  He was the one that Jesus loved.  What makes John so special at the Last Supper?  Well see, John was the one on Jesus' breast.  He was listening to the heartbeat of God in one of the most intimate moments of history.  John would have been the first to drink right after Jesus.  Jesus would have passed the cup to him first.  Who would you rather drink after?  Jesus?  or one of the other disciples?  I say Jesus, of course.  I mean c'mon, He was God with skin on.  So see, I could have been at the last supper and could have drank the wine and tasted the bread in remembrance of Him.  It's just a theory. 

All you who share chapstick, drinks, etc, you are nasty.  I bet you even share toothbrushes. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

u know what I love

I love those days when at the end of the day, you feel like your life counted.  It's not like I preached to 5,000 people and every one of them received Jesus, but it was just one of those days that I can come home, turn on the XBOX 360 and enjoy relaxing.  I've realized something about myself today that I never really knew.  I need an outlet.  I've learned that all the stuff I have been learning over the past few years has never really had anywhere to be aimed out.  I've felt like a floater, a roamer, a something.  Part of it is being apart of a local church, something I have missed out on for the last few years.  There is still this big part in me that feels like I'm called to something weird.  I feel like I'm going to always be in a local church but this other big part of me feels called to something outside the box for Jesus.  Lately, I've just been hovering on this thought and desire.  I have lots of ideas just swirling around and I'm just now finding outlets to take them to.  Anywho, enough about that.

Have you ever had one of those times where you just start praying for something that you don't know why.  This happens to be rarely honestly.  But tonight, I listened to Mark Driscoll for about two hours on my ride back from Columbia.  I just love that guy and love his teaching.  He is humble, loves Jesus, and everything he says always ties back into Jesus.  It doesn't matter if he is going through deep theological talks, he always makes Jesus the hero of the story and I love it.  If you have time, listen to "teaching and preaching scripture."  I have listened to it a few times, just amazing.  Okay so the random prayer.  I finished listening to Driscoll and for some reason I just start praying for his sex life.  WHY IN THE WORLD would this pop in my head?  It was the funniest thing.  So I didn't know why, I don't know him personally.  But oh well, the Lord created sex in the bonds of marriage and Driscoll is married and Jesus wants him to have good sex, so I prayed for that.  I hope when I am married one day and teaching and preaching, someone will pray that for me :)  Sorry mom if you are reading this, but it's biblical :)

If anyone is in Greenville tomorrow night, give me a holla, we are going to try and shoot some video on the street.  I need a camera person.  As Todd Friel says, now go serve your King.

something new

So my church bought a video camera a few weeks ago and we haven't put it to good use yet.  I am taking it tomorrow into a dark place, Columbia, SC.  Please pray for me and whoever ends up going with me.  I want to have a good time and talk about Jesus in a way that gets people thinking about where they might spend eternity.  This is going to be fun. :)

I also realized that we live in a funny world when I was reading some directions to the video camera.  The directions for the video camera teach you how to "video" yourself.  Gotta love the USA.

Monday, January 15, 2007

a thought on dating...

So many of you read the title of this blog and were shocked to find that it was on my blog.  I write this to solely entertain you and to use any of this information is at your own risk.  I do caution you that people are sinful and when you date, you have two independent variables that can function very independently.  The idea that dating can fit into a box or formula is crazy.  I don't care how many books you read and if you kissed dating goodbye two years ago, it's not a formula.  I write this as a single guy who has not always done the right thing.  I think I went through many years doing the exact opposite of what I should do and hurt a few in my path as well as myself.  I have learned a lot over the past two years by listening to great teachers and people way smarter than myself.  I have learned a lot from Tommy Nelson's ministry and the Song of Solomon.  If I could boil everything I have learned down and give one piece of advice to someone, it would be this:  COMMUNICATE !  I don't think enough can be said about communication.  It is the backbone of pretty much everything we do in this life.  Good communication breaks down walls and breaks down misconceptions.  I have a degree in this stuff but it does not take 4 years of overpriced tuition to know that it is meaningful and good.  I know some of you are probably laughing at a 26 year-old man writing a blog about dating, that's okay :)  I think this is fun. 

I feel like I am around a good mix of people in my life and hear lots of different thoughts on dating and it's fun to try and figure people out.  So and So likes so and so and blah blah blah, not much has changed since the 7th grade, maybe a few of us grew taller and our voices got deeper.  Here is the first thing.  Dating has to be honest.  Look, if you are interested in someone, if you think they are to your caliber, if you think they love the Lord like you do, then your first step is to communicate.  Don't tell her best friend's cousin's sister's mom who works with your mom that you like her.  Ask her out.  This does not have to be some big show where you bring flowers and announce it over the PA at church.  It doesn't have to be complicated.  Many guys want to know if they have a chance of dating a girl before they ask her out.  I think this is a normal thought.  I think I say that because I am one of those guys :)  I think it's good to have a little report of the girl you are interested in, maybe even do a little research to see what people think of her.  You see this type of idea in the Bible where you are choosing an elder or a pastor of your church.  Get an idea of what kinda person they are, do they water camels, oh wait, that's so old testament :)  

So you get to the point where you ask the girl out.  Awesome.  If you ask her out and it doesn't go so hot, basically she says no and you realize she isn't interested, guess what, that means NO.  I'm about pursuing someone when it is right, but when I hear about guys that pretty much turn into stalkers, this is weird and it creeps girls out, don't be a stalker.  So on flip side of the coin, she says yes.  Awesome.  Treat her well, go somewhere cool, be creative, have fun.  This is where dating can get tricky.  Let's say that you go out a few times and it goes extremely well.  There comes a point after so many dates, that something needs to be communicated.  Let's say you have been on about 4-5 dates and they have all been awesome.  You don't have to get on a knee and ask this girl to marry you, but you should be able to communicate to her how you feel and where you see these dates going.  The blog version of this is..."you're awesome, i have fun with you, I would like to keep having fun with you and getting to know you."  This is what I like to call the DTI.  Define the Intentions.  This is an information only plan.  This just gives the girl something to go on, a chance to show how you have felt about the time you have spent together.  Here is the benefit of the DTI.  Many guys are afraid of commitment and the mention of the word makes them cringe.  The benefit of the DTI is that it puts you both on the same playing ground.  It lets the female with estrogen be on the same page with the male with testosterone.  The other benefit is that it gives you more time to evaluate the person and see if this is a good thing.  It's a win / win for both people.  Obviously, after the DTI and a period of dates etc, there comes a point where you need to make a decision.  Is this person the TYPE of person that you could see yourself marrying?  Notice that I didn't say WILL MARRY, but someone that has qualities that line up with how God created, gifted, and planned your life.  DTR.  Define the Relationship.  This is where either the buck stops here or next thing you know you are riding down the road in your silverado and she is sitting right beside you.  KIDDING, this should never happen unless you live in a town with less than a few thousand people.  Define the relationship is a good thing because it shows that both people are going to either commit to dating or commit to cutting ties and  just being friends.  Yes, I said, just being friends :) 

I think a lot of people get bent out of shape about dating.  It doesn't have to be complicated.  If a guy isn't being honest with you and won't give you any updates and keeps stringing you along, he's not worth it, move on.  If he really cares about you and has a clue, he wouldn't do this.  On the other side of the coin, girls, if a guy asks you out, and you don't go out with him, you don't have to announce this to everyone and their sister.  This isn't fair to the guy and it really puts him in a bad light.  This is especially tough when you many of the people you hang out with are in the same church or group of friends. 

One last can be the most honest person you have ever been and be Jesus' right hand man and still get hurt in dating.  Dating comes with many potential land mines that you could walk over at any point.  Just because you are doing the right thing and listening to the Lord doesn't mean that you are going to marry Beth Moore's daughter and have 2.5 kids.  I don't know if Beth Moore has a daughter, but I hear she's a solid believer. 

Disclaimer:  I am a single man and just because I write a blog about dating doesn't mean that I am dating, just so you know.  I do think writing is fun and more open honest communication can help us all grow stronger in our relationships with each other and with Christ :) 

Thursday, January 11, 2007

What has my life come to?

Really though, what has my life come to?  I just sat at my computer and ordered Sanchismo and myself a Papa John's Pizza.  "Justin, that's not weird, what is wrong with you?"  Well the problem is...I ordered it through the internet!  If you type in the code "BOGO" in the promotion box, you get "buy 1 get 1 free"  So go BOGO :)

Now let me go pick it up.  :)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

a new year is scary

So everyone always talks about what they will do for the New Year that is upon us.  All of the plans they have, dreams, hopes, desires.  The whole entourage.  I was getting ready New Year's Eve for our party and knew I would be cooking oysters, so I put on an old t-shirt.  I realized as I was slipping my long sleeve Cheersport t-shirt on that I had just put this shirt on the same day the year before.  I mean it seemed that the year just was gone.  It really just scared me.  I feel like I am going to wake up one day, I'm 40, and still doing the same thing.  Lately, I've really had this desire to make my life count.  I waste so much time without even meaning to waste time.  It's weird.  I feel like I've learned to make better use of my time because with work, I have less of it.  I've kinda learned in the past year that it's easy for life to drive over you.  You really have to work hard at keeping a biblical perspective on everything to keep the wheels of life from crushing.  I'm not saying I had a bad year, I've had an awesome year, but I have learned that life happens fast and you need a plan.  Anywho, enough about that, I'm going on...

I want to be consistent. The problem with being consistent is I've never really had a plan.  I don't really like plans and my personality is spontaneous.  I like to just up and go, it makes life interesting.  But in Christianity, you need a plan.  I just want to do something crazy in this life for Jesus.  I have this feeling always lingering that I am supposed to be doing something crazy, but I really don't have a clue what right now.  I felt the Lord call me to ministry almost 6 years ago and I'm still a working man.  I know I am called to full time ministry but really have no clue when that will come to be.  I do know that lately I have very much felt the tugging towards really preaching and encouraging preachers and evangelists.  I was listening to a message by Mark Driscoll tonight on my way to pick up Tavaras and I was glad I missed my road and could take the long way.  He was speaking about preaching and the joys of it and things he has found beneficial.  I got to listen to a few extra minutes before I picked him up.  Just amazing message.  I have just felt a call to really study the Bible and understand it.  My problem is I'm not consistent and want to improve.  I feel like there is so much story telling in American churches today and no real Bible knowing preachers.  One pastor of a huge church out west spoke for 1/2 and hour, never mentioning Jesus, then gives an altar call explaining for people to give their lives to Jesus, that he could make their life better?  WHAT????  This church has thousands of people and to give a altar call for people to "know Jesus" without explaining Jesus, sin, the cross, THIS IS SAD and SCARY.  A friend of mine gave me an excerpt from a Piper book.  Piper was talking about the importance of knowing the Biblical languages and really understanding the texts.  He writes that if a pastor does not study the Bible in Greek and Hebrew, "they and their churches with them tend to become second-handers."  Basically he was saying that we result to reading books about the BOOK instead of just knowing the Bible.  I find myself getting scared of becoming this because I LOVE to listen to online sermons.  I listen to at least 5 per week and could literally sit all day and listen to guys like Mark Driscoll, Todd Friel, James Macdonald.  I don't want these guys to substitute my own studying and my own reading.  It's a lot easier to let them do the hard work and me benefit from it.  Another thing about expository preaching that Driscoll points out is that it doesn't leave you room to leave anything out.  Going verse by verse makes sure you cover every scripture, even the tough ones!  There is a lot of differences on preaching styles and many might say that Jesus didn't preach expository.  Jesus was the Word.  He was the Word in flesh.  We don't necessarily have the complete sermons that he gave so we don't really know if He preached like that or not.  Either way, He was the Bible with feet on.  He was God with human skin wrapped around.  He was a walking and talking Bible.  Either way or either church we choose to be apart of, there must be a place where we get fed in a deep way.  There is no way that you can be past the spiritual milk that Paul talks about if you are listening to a topical sermon every week.  There has to be a place where you can dig deep into the scriptures or you will remain a baby Christian your entire life, never having any meat, always drinking milk.  When people mention sin in most churches, people get wigged out.  In the day of Spurgeon and Edwards etc, this was a common term that people heard, and they had a clear understanding of sin.  People like Joel Olsteen who focus on God's best life for you and forsake preaching on sin and even going as far as to not want to mention the word have gone astray.  Pastors and leaders have a responsibility to protect people from wolves and bad doctrine.  I am not calling Joel Olsteen a wolf, I don't know him personally.  Although his public talks and his Larry King interview says it all, he's off the rocker scripturally.  He has one of the biggest churches in America!  This should scare you.  We are called to give our best defense for the Gospel.  We are called to be aware of false doctrines and we should know the Bible well enough to know when someone says something crazy. 

Writing this, I feel conviction to go and ready my own Bible.  Please pray for me if you will, I want to have a consistent desire to know and study the Word.  I feel like I filll my spiritual tank up and live off it then go back for more.  I need help from above. 

Either way, to start this new year off, tell people what they mean to you, they might not be there tomorrow.