Sunday, October 28, 2007

So our church went out to a local apartment complex around Clemson and put on a nice thing for the kiddies. We had cars full of candy, a lil craft area to paint, and a field with lots of games. It was a fun time and all came together nicely.

I was asked to give a short gospel message and to use a pumpkin to share Jesus. We talked about how God can open us up, take out all the nasty stuff that is inside us and make us new. We scooped all the yucky stuff out and handed it out to the kids. We went through sin and Jesus and how He paved a way to God for us. In the end, my friend Paige cut a cross out of it and we put a candle inside to talk about how Jesus is the light of the world and how it shines out. Well the problem was, it's about 6PM and there is no darkness so the candle doesn't really work. Well, I had a backup plan, I asked someone to get a huge firework out of my car. Yes this is the part where we could have possibly been on the news. "Church burns down neighborhood." Thankfully- the firework exploded and blew out the rest of the sin that was in the pumpkin and smoke billowed out from it, it was quite awesome.

It's difficult to speak to a vast age range of people especially when they are amped on candy and a good game of dodgeball. It's easy to get frustrated sometimes when you worry that they might not be "getting it." It is encouraging when you look across a crowd and do connect with a few lil faces and you can see in their eyes, they are listening, they are understanding. There could be 50 kids talking and not listening, but just to see a few that are learning of the gospel and starting to see it, that's worth it. Ultimately, I know the Holy Spirit brings those hearts and there is nothing in me or you that could ever convince them of anything.

Please note the BURNED PUMPKIN :)

Back out this week to my mom's home state of Connecticut!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

About one time a month

Okay, so about one time a month, I like to get naked. Over the years, I have not really become a clean freak, but I have gotten a lot more organized and clean. Maybe it is just apart of getting older. So back to being naked. I started my day with one goal: to mop the hardwoods. My roomies started cleaning this morning and I realized we didn't have any Murphy's Oil :) That's the best for hardwoods in my opinion after my 10 minutes of internet research :) I left to buy the Murphy's and stayed gone for 2-3 hours and came back with my Rover's oil changed, a few new ideas of furniture, and the Murphy's Oil Soap.

I came home, went to eat at Mac's, then headed off to buy a dining room table. I got a high table that looks pretty contemporary, I like it. I also got some new lights for the walk-way/house so you can see at night. I came home and put them up, because when I get something on my mind, I am focused. The lights look nice and pretty. It's about 10 o'clock and I never washed the hardwoods. So I decided, okay, back to the being naked part. It's not really efficient to try and deep clean your house when you are wearing clothes, you are going to mess them up. Well I am not a complete idiot, so I don't get naked until I start on the bathroom. It's so much easier to just strip and scrub everything, then hop in the shower and scrub it too. If you have never tried this, I suggest you try it, it's relaxing.

Disclaimer: I absolutely do NOT like scrubbing the toilet. I really don't know what it is but I think that is one of the worst things. I will go ahead and put this in writing. If I get married eventually, my wife can come back and read through my years of blogs and find my words. I will strike a deal with whomever I marry, if she doesn't mind doing the toilet scrubbing, I will mow the yard, wash the dishes, clean the bathroom(minus the toilet), mop the floor. Heck, I will do whatever just to not scrub the toilet. I feel like it just stares at me and all the people that have sat on it come to mind, mainly Sandy and it disgusts me. :) All and all, I will scrub a toilet if I need to, but it's not my favorite thing to do.

For some reason as I was scrubbing the toilet, I thought about the woman in Luke 7. Jesus comes over to have dinner with a Pharisee, and a prostitute comes in and just starts crying at his feet and washing his feet with her hair. She took her perfume, mainly a year of her salary, and adorns him with it. He uses this woman's example to show the religious people that this was true love and he would truly forgive her of her sins.

The simple fact that God created Himself in human form to enter into time with sinful people like us, well that is pretty amazing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm Getting Old

So I played ultimate frisby yesterday against my better judgement, and I was right. My nice friend Rhett and I were warming up and went up for the same frisby and I'm pretty sure his fit went through the back of my rib cage and touched the backside of my heart. I could barely lay on my nice comfy bed last night, how do u know if you bruised a heart/rib?

I've had so many great conversations lately and filled the last few days speaking with people one on one and learning, hanging out, and just having "real" conversation. Today was a good day.

"IF YOU KNOW JESUS, THIS CHURCH IS NOT FOR YOU!" (Quote from a pastor in NC)

I got home tonight and listened to part of a sermon series by a pastor in NC. I think I almost crawled out of my skin listening to it. His main premise was the church is for non-christians and creating an army of people to go out and reach lost people. He explains to his people that they are not going to teach theology but only preach Jesus. His aim is good, he wants souls to be saved but he "downplays theology and God."

This is a trend among modern churches to only focus on evangelism at the sacrifice of teaching doctrine/theology. There is this huge misconception that if you are teaching theology, you are not teaching evangelism. Theology is the study of God basically. Could it be that studying God could lead us to reach people? Instead many churches are promoting themselves and hoping to create a large mega-church at the sacrifice of discipleship and teaching. This pastor says that teaching theology is like feeding people so they get fat and never do anything. I really must stop typing this because my skin is falling off onto the keyboard because I am typing so fast.

We are going to continue into this downward spiral. We do not measure church growth by the number of people coming to our church! Could it be that people leave church, evangelize, and those people that get saved go to other churches?!?!?!? Of course. We are so inward focused in the modern church and I know it's so easy to pick on churches. I want to be warning people of this trend and for people to know that we must be on guard of this. Next thing, all of our churches will be like Joel Osteen who can't even confess on national television that Jesus is the only way. Pastors are flocking to his church to "learn" from him when this guy can't even figure out what he believes.

God spent a lot of time to write the Bible and we would rather tell happy stories and insert Bible into it. Eventually people are going to need more than milk and the happy meal sermons are not going to cut it. There is just this misconception that if you are teaching the Bible, you don't care about evangelism. So not the truth.

I seem to be in the minority in thinking this and as time goes by, it will probably get worse.

Could it be that teaching people how to evangelize will send them out and they can witness on their own. Does this have to happen in the church? I'm not against the church evangelizing from the pulpit, but does it have to happen every week? As a lost person, would you rather hear the gospel from a Christian friend or some guy you don't know? I think I'd rather hear it from someone I know and I can see if their life backs up what they believe.


Here is a good link to listen to.

And who in the world thinks that Christians shouldn't hear the gospel? I realized, well really realized in the past few weeks that I pretty much am crap outside of the Holy Spirit inside me. There is nothing good in me. I need to hear the gospel and be reminded.

I am ranting and must go do something else :)

Pretty funny video about many of the speaking styles of post-modern preachers today.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

a cool night in San Diego

So I'm in San Diego again this week, what a sad life :)  After a few flight delays and missed flights, I made it to San Diego for a few days of meetings.  It has been absolutely gorgeous out here around 70 degrees all the time.  I am in a corner room on a place called Mission Bay which looks over the bay and the Pacific Ocean.  I got a really cool room that has two flat screen tvs, not that I really watch tv but it looks cool.  I have the door open right now and no A/C on, just letting the breeze blow off the ocean right into my room, so awesome. 

We went to dinner tonight at a placed called the "Gaslamp Strip Club."  Wow, what a cool place we stumbled upon.  No, it's not a strip club!  It's a place where you go and order meat and grill it yourself.  They have these huge grills all around the place and you just walk up to one with a group of, well, usually men grilling.  This is such a manly place.  I felt like I should grunt like Tim Allen and make lawnmower noises while grilling my ribeye.  We had grill asparagus and mashed potatoes on the side.  I was a happy man after leaving there.

I had a really good conversation with a coworker tonight about God and how the world came to be.  This guy has a Ph.D in Nuclear Physics so it was cool to hear his ideas and how he believes the world came to be.  I've never really been wrapped up in all of the details of how this world came to be, I think it's better to get wrapped up on Jesus and who He is/ was/ and will be.  What did He tell us to do, we should do it.  How did He live, we should live.  I like that Truth can listen to many ideas and not feel threatened.  I like to hear people and their ideas, I ultimately know that Jesus is the only way and the fact that Joe Shmo believe in evolution or doesn't...well it doesn't change the fact that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  My coworker and I had a good conversation about how God exists outside of time, which is so ironic and cool because Jesus was inserted into time to be like one of us for a season.  He got to experience all of the things of this life, He got to experience pain, He got to experience joy, He was one of us.  I just love that. 

So now I am sitting here overlooking the bay and feel small because God has created this HUGE world and universe (one spoken sentence) in which we live and can feel small and appreciate how big God must be.  We are very small fish in this big pond.  I know that Romans says that God's invisible qualities are clearly seen in what has been created and it's so cool to look over this ocean and know that God is in every square inch of it. 

I fly back tomorrow morning to Charleston and then will make my way back up to th upstate of SC. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Timing and Decisions

I generally make decent decisions, well I think. I am sure some might disagree. I tend to be the type of person that will research and research. If I buy something, I am generally going to know all the details of it, how it works, etc. I went to buy a C.S. Lewis book the other day and while I was there, I noticed a book on decisions by Andy Stanley. The name of it is "The Greatest Question Ever." It's fun to read in the airport because I know people read the cover and are dying to know what the 'greatest question ever' actually is. He tells you around chapter 2 so I can tell you. He goes through the process in which we make decisions and poses the question...This decision you are about to make could go either way, but is this the "wisest" choice you should make? He forms the book around what is the wisest thing for your life. There are many different directions we could take in life, in who we marry, in where we live, in where we work, how we spend our money, the type of car we drive, the time we put in etc. So far, I am half-way through and it seems to be a good read. I generally read about two books a year so I am not your avid reader by a long shot!

So far I have realized that I need to manage my time and money much better. Well, not to mention many other things I probably need to improve in. I am trying to start being a "doer" of many of the things I "want" to do instead of just talking about them. I'm generally not a "trailblazer" and it's tough to get things running from the ground up. There are so many things I want to do and accomplish and sometimes feel overwhelmed and have a hard time just starting the small things first. I sometimes look at my disorganized room and feel overwhelmed, when I should just start by picking up the clothes, then work to bigger things like making my bed and hanging up clothes :) I like to think in remedial ways, it helps.

Well I am sitting in the Atlanta airport after leaving Charleston yesterday, delayed flight, then missed a connection in Atlanta to San Diego, so Delta paid for a hotel. It's very early and hopefully this plane will leave and I can be west bound for a few days, then back to the South. I did buy a new shirt this weekend and I am wearing it today, it fits nicely and I didn't even try it on :) It has small vertical stripes, I like small vertical stripes. An old lady just said to me...

"you're a gem."
"are you married?"
no. 'mam.
"well tell your mom she raised a nice gentleman, you don't see too many of those these days."

What a way to start a day, I love old people.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Planes, Boogers, and Good Food

So talk about a way to end a trip! I sat in the San Diego airport all day on Thursday and still didn't end up getting on a plane after waiting from 12pm to 10:30PM. I was a tired man. So I got the nice hotel again and slept a few hours, woke up at 4:30AM and flew back today. Tired!

I did get to see Ed and Julie's lil kid mary addison. Such a cutie! She just laughs and laughs.

So remember booger eater from 2006? It was a guy in my church that I saw eat a booger. Okay, I am not trying to be gross, but I got into Greenville today at 4:00 after a LONG LONG day of flying and as soon as I get off the plane, I see the guy! I kid you not, as soon as it registered in my mind that was a guy from church...okay, here goes....yes his finger goes up his nose and he is doing something with it. I kept walking and DID NOT want to know where he would put it. I know you guys are going to think I am making this stuff up, I am NOT. This is a real story and I am pretty sure he is still eating boogers.

I just laughed while I was exiting the terminal and really thought, there is no way people are going to believe this.

Well I am home for the weekend and heading back out to San Diego for another week :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

San Diego

Wow, the good news is that San Diego is a beautiful city. I got here on Monday night for a week of meetings. What a beautiful place to be! The hotel I stayed in last night is by far the nicest I have ever been in. Flat screen tv with a view of the ocean you would not believe. It's so fun to walk into hotel rooms, they really aren't that bad :)

Now I am sitting in the airport for 7 hours :) I will be on a red-eye flight all night long eating peanuts :)

Back again next week, hopefully I can schedule it a little better.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Fun Day

So you know you have worked and talked way too much on the phone when your phone bill hits $530 and you have officially, in one month, talked 47 hours!  Yes, this past month, I talked on the phone for 47 hours and At&t made sure to tell me in the bill they sent.  Wow!  Thank the Lord for expense reports :)

In other news, I am adjusting to life back in the office for the past two weeks.  It feels so funny to be in an office again.  I am just now adjusting back and about to head out to San Diego for two weeks on Monday.  I've never been there and excited about going. 

Tonight I drove to Due West, SC to speak at Erskine's FCA.  Talk about in the middle of nowhere!  It was such a fun time and a great group of people.  I absolutely love speaking and find it so rewarding.  I really enjoy speaking with people afterwards about the things they are dealing with in their life.  I think people open up to speakers because they are strangers and most likely, will never see them again.  I like to hear their stories and God-willing, impart some advice to them.  It's always humbling to go somewhere and speak, I always leave changed myself and charged up again. 

The Land Rover has been a great car so far, I luv the fact that I have room now to drive people around and room to store clothes in the back :) 

Two more days in this work week, can I get a what what!! Woo Woo.  If Tavaras was here, he would do the Soulja Boy dance. 

Sandy is also back from HI and a very happy man.  He made sure to visit and share stories of all the great checker games he played.  JK.  He is a very happy man, I've never seen him so happy.  :) 

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

80 Years And Ticking

Playas, this is how you put it down.  This playa has been with his boo for 80 years!  He says they have been too busy to be "fussing."