Thursday, December 20, 2007

From Death to Life

We had a youth retreat a couple of weekends ago. Here are the highlights:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Browns and Hope

This past summer I got to go to Ohio. I saw the Indians get beat by the Tigers and then the next day a dream came true. I have been a Cleveland Sports fan for as long as I can remember. Particularly I am a Browns fan. We are hard to come by in Alabama, which I now call home. The dream was going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame with my Dad and then to Browns training camp. I have been to the HoF before and it is pretty cool. But there is something about seeing the team that you grew up cheering for, the colors, the logos on everyone and everything. There was a sense of belonging. There was the feeling that I wasn't that crazy - rooting for a team that hasn't played for a championship in over five decades leaves you with thoughts that you ought to be locked up. We aren't supposed to be 8-5 this season with the potential to go 11-5. It is kinda scary. It's like that wonderful terrifying experience of being on the roller coaster and climbing to the top of the hill - you are not sure which way this could end up - in the Lake or a thrilling, screaming, ride o' death.

Being a Browns fan has taught me a great deal about the spiritual disciplines. I truly believe that. God is growing His Fruit in me through patience, faithfulness and self-control. Patience to stay with them through the lean years and the non-existing years. Faithfulness to not be dragged away by other charming suitors (Colts, Packers, Jaguars). And self-control by not punching or cussing when they lose big.

I am a Browns fan and I have hope. I hope that we win Sunday.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


We have been dialogging on Wednesday Men's Lunch about the church. Most recently we spoke of the church and culture. There is this interview that Mark Driscoll does with Dick Staub on youtube. I think the guys would profit from watching it.

This is Part 1a -

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I {heart} books.

I love books. These books I purchased or received while attending the National Youth Workers Convention in Atlanta.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

From Death to Life and On Being Obese...

We made it back from the Elk River Lodge in one piece. I have to say that this was a very rewarding retreat. We were well fed, both physically and spiritually. The theme was "From Death to Life" - Awakening to Our Lives in Christ. I think that the retreat was really great. I was excited about our students being exposed to my friend, Jason Minter's teaching and the opportunity for all of them to worship. We have a student led worship team and I love it - so it is good for those students to be led as opposed to having to lead. It was a plus that Wesley and his lovely wife Monica - whose name I kept forgetting, are exceptional worshipers. They led out of their own worship. Jason's teaching was very rich and challenging. He challenged our students from the very beginning. Either you are a follower of Jesus or you follow Satan - it was pretty cut and dry. I think that the students were captured by that thought. It was powerful.
Saturday moved to a more light hearted joyous (Life) approach. We were still contemplating Jesus' death for us but, it was out of that death that we have life and it was resonating with most of us. The worship sets that Wes put together were right on line with the teaching. It was so awesome to see God's handy work in that. The songs were well done and the students really got into the worship. After the third session we watched "Invisible Children". It was powerful and moving. I think that some of our students were convicted about their apathy towards things. It was a great challenge for them to move out past being "good" and into a role of activism. Owning their faith in order to make a difference here and now with those who are created in god's image. Invisible Children is gripping and graphic. It follows three young Californians as they search for a story in the Sudan and wind up with one in Northern Uganda. You can check it out at their web-site. We hope to get more involved in the coming year.

We had lots of fun playing the games James had for us. There was a little too much nature that Joel Bridges stumbled upon in the woods near us - thank God that the students did not do the stumbling. We had a couple of minor pranks but nothing earthshaking. They were actually well behaved and our guys and gals were cooperative and engaging. We wrapped up on Sunday and headed home. It seemed like everyone had a spectacular time.

On Being Obese.
Yeah I said it. I am obese. I looked at some recent pictures of me and I am ashamed of myself. I guess I really ought to cut back on the Cheeseburgers, oh and go run. Do NOT FEED the BEAR!