It’s been a very long time since I posted here. It’s been an….interesting…year(+) to say the least. I keep intending on getting back in the swing of things. I have an idea or two…but never follow thru. Well this weekend I saw something that has pushed me hard enough to post. This video has been making it’s way around the interwebs after being on CBS This Morning on Friday. I can’t stress the importance of this message enough. We all are guilty of using our words too casually and not realizing that what we are saying indeed HURTS those they are directed at. There are names that were slung at me back in the day that still sit in the back of mind when I least expect or need it. We all need to make a conscious effort to stop using hurtful language and spread the word too. Sticks and stones hurt…and so do words…
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard about the unreal amounts of rain that affected Middle Tennessee. One- and Two-day rain totals were broken as well as the record for the month of May. In only two days, we had a higher rain total than in any previous month of May. This has resulted in catastrophic flooding throughout the greater Nashville area.
One of the hardest hit areas is downtown Nashville. Last night the Cumberland River overflowed into our city. The last report received state the River at 49 ft, which is 9 ft above flood levels. It is now reaching 2nd avenue. One area that was greatly effected, but isn’t getting much attention, is Tent City, Nashville’s largest homeless community. They were evacuated yesterday, but they were unable to take most of their belongings with them. Primarily left behind were their tents, sleeping bags, tarps, and camp stoves, etc. In response to this, we are organizing a drive to collect these items to help them stay warm and dry and rebuild once the river recedes.
If you have a sleeping bag, tent, tarp, camp stove, pillows, or any other camping gear in good condition that you don’t really use, would you donate it? Or would you buy some to donate? Or simply donate money or a gift card, so that new tents and sleeping bags can be bought and distributed? We have set up drop-off points throughout the Middle Tennessee area. If you cannot get your donation to one of these locations, please contact me so we can have someone come and get it. Any monetary donations can be sent to Fellowship Bible Church(address below) with the memo line “Nashville Flood” and we will purchase tents/sleeping bags for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone/text: 615-428-8989.
If your church is willing to serve as a drop off point please contact me and I will add you to the list below.
More then anything, please be praying for everyone affected by this flood. Many in Nashville have lost everything or close to it. Thank you so much for your help and prayers!! The city of Nashville will rebuild!
Stay tuned here for updates.
- Fellowship Bible Church – 6360 Franklin Road, Murfreesboro, TN (615) 893-6652 Contact: Chad Vinson
- Hendersonville First Methodist Church — 217 East Main St, Hendersonville, TN (615) 824-8725 Contact: Gavin Richardson
- Otter Creek Church of Christ — 409 Franklin Road, Brentwood, TN (615) 373-1782 Contact: Doug Sanders
- Hermitage UMC — 205 Belinda Dr, Hermitage, TN (615) 883-3918 Contact: Chris Seifert
- more locations coming
Edited to add locations 5/3/2010, 3:15pm
In today’s financial crunch it can be easy to forget that we have plenty to be thankful for. The aforementioned crunch has been particularly hard on us. The job I got at the beginning of the year didn’t last long. I had to step down from my position as youth pastor at church. We had to find a new church and leave behind people we cared about deeply. We had to move out of the house we have rented since moving to Nashville 3.5 years ago and leave behind the best landlord on the face of this earth. The job market has dried up significantly here. Needless to say, it can be difficult to find things to be thankful for.
However, the truth is that there is plenty to be thankful for:
- I am alive and well
- I have the most beautiful, smart, loving, incredible wife on the planet!
- I have a motivated, entrepreneurial hyper-intelligent son that I am incredibly proud of!
- I have the most beautiful, entertaining, smart 7 year old in the universe!
- I have the most amazing, advanced, smart 2 year old around!
- I have a beautiful home to stay in while we look for a new place.
- I have the BEST in-laws. Since the invention of marriage, there have been five in-laws that were rated the most loving, the most pure. These leave them all behind.
- I have a great new church where I am surrounded my solid, mature believers and real, authentic leaders.
- I have the best best friend a guy could ask for.
- I have awesome parents who love me dearly!
- I have an incredible brother who I love talking to!
- I have loving sisters—even if they like to pretend that they aren’t (well, one of them)
- I have some of the best aunts & uncles that a kid could ask for.
- I have incredible friends back up north who I miss incredibly
- I have unbelievably loyal, loving, REAL friends whom I have met over the interwebs
- I’ve had the opportunity this last year to speak into the lives of some awesome teens
- I’m sure there are TONS of things/people who I am missing and I apologize to them, but it is 3am and my memory isn’t what it used to be!
I had an assignment in one of my classes at Liberty recently where I had to write a parallel situation to Phil 4:13, “I can do all things though Him who gives me strength.” The lesson talked about how often this verse is taken out of context and that Paul’s primary point is that no matter how tough things get, Christ will see us through. There is no situation we can find ourselves in that Christ can’t handle. Things may not go our way, but they will go His way. Paul’s trying to tell us that with Christ by our side we can be content through our trials. I can say by first hand experience that this is entirely true.And that leads to me the things I am most thankful for….
- I am thankful for God’s Word
- I am thankful that my sins are forgiven
- I am thankful for a God that loves me unconditionally
- I am thankful for a Savior who died so I don’t have to
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; His love endures forever.” – 1 Chron 16:34
I recently had the privilege of reviewing Switchfoot’s latest album over at Youth Minsitry Exchange. Here is a sample…follow the link to the actual article!
For three long years a storm has been building on the horizon. Changes in the atmosphere have taken place – a new in-home studio, a new label, and a return to a sense of purpose. Hello Hurricane, the seventh studio album from the San Diego quintet Switchfoot, clearly shows the effects of those changes. “We built our own studio so we wouldn’t be paying and playing by the hour,” says frontman Jon Foreman. Prepare for a musical storm.
The first single, “Mess of Me”, lays the foundation for the lyrical heart of this album. “I am my own affliction,” the song so honestly lays out. The riffs are pounding and usually I find myself jumping up and down before the song ends, concluding, “I’ve made a mess of me, I want to spend the rest of my life alive!” While “Your Love is a Song” is a calmer, more melodic offering in which Foreman harmoniously declares, “I’ve got my eyes wide open, I’ve been keeping my hopes unbroken.”
Click here to continue reading
OK, that title was more for attention grabbing then anything else.
But it does have to do with Michigan football.and the Gospel.
I was basking in the glow of UM’s victory over Notre Dame earlier. After reading of their re-entry into the APTop25, I started analyzing in my mind their upcoming schedule and what to expect. I was very excited at the prospects of not only staying in the top 25, but climbing the ranks. I smiled from ear to ear at the hope I had in this season and the next few. It suddenly occurred to me that if you had asked me this offseason that I never would have expected the start of this season to go as it has. Now don’t get me wrong, the program has a long way to go, and I am still not 100% sold on RichRod. But the grim outlook I had last year has been wiped away and replaced with hope. Tate Forcier is amazing and may turn out to be the best QB1 ever at Michigan. He is poised, smart, and has a great arm. Last year looked horrible on the surface, but the truth is that the work was underway and the hope was there the whole time. RichRod was/is teaching his players his system–something that takes time. The pieces are being put into place. (Hopefully the pieces on defense are going in this week!) Amidst the blowouts, the losses to teams we weren’t supposed to lose to, and departures of players we thought would have great careers at Michigan, RichRod was whittling away at the bad habits and teaching good ones to fit into his system. The results are starting to show and I hope they continue on to a National Championship!!!
Oh "the Gospel"
How often are we unable to see past the long two-a-days, defeats, and blowouts to the hope that Christ is doing in us? When we are having hard times, we love to complain, stomp our feet, and yell at God. The truth is that in those times God is whittling away our bad habits and teaching us good ones that fit into His system. Often it doesn’t make sense to us at the time, but how amazing is it when we have that great victory in our life and are able to look back at those hard times and see that was more then just a stinky year?
In Phil 1:6, Paul wrote "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
David wrote in Psalm 23:4,
"Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,a
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;"
Isiaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
These are the things we need to remind ourselves and meditate on when things are looking dark and dreary, when there seems to be no hope in the world!
And the best part about the Gospel of Jesus Christ??? The part where this comparison is lost??? As a Michigan fan, I can only dream of a National Championship..it may happen–it may not.
But as a Christian, the final victory is guaranteed!
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" I John 5:4-5
Eight years ago today, I got up for work like I did back then, and was informed by my wife that we needed milk before I went in. So I ran to the convenience store around the corner. As I was walking to the back of the store I remember hearing a breaking news alert. They announced that a plane had just hit the WTC. I rushed home to tell my wife and neighbors. We then sat and watched the 2nd bldg get struck, but I had to get to work. I remember driving down I295 when they announced that a plane had just hit the pentagon. At that point I called my boss to tell him I was going home. Terrorists had just obviously struck north and south of me and I was going home to be with my family. Before I could tell him, he told me to go home. I still remember that drive home. I feared I would never see my family again. My eyes were on the skies more than the road, waiting for a plane to come down on top of me. Our country was under attack.
The outpouring of unity in this country was amazing to me. Days trickled by. Soldiers died. Conspiracy theorists spread their rhetoric. A President left office. “Hope” and “Change” was ushered in. And where are we today?
We have forgotten.
We have forgotten where we were that day. We have forgotten about our friends and neighbors who lost loved ones or didn’t know if they had or not. We have forgotten that our homeland was attacked. We have forgotten that it could have been us.
We need to move on–that is for sure. But let’s not go in the wrong direction.
We now live in a country that it is perfectly OK for a member of Congress to shout down the President during a speech. Why not just throw shoes at him?
We now live in a country where more than ever, EVERYONE feeds off fear.
So what exactly is it that we have forgotten??
36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[b]
38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
I pray today for the people of this nation, that the Hope and Change that they so obviously yearn for would come, but not through a man, but through the only one who can truly usher in the needed Hope and Change… Jesus Christ
I recently used a beta program called Twikini. Twikini is a wonderful Twitter client for Windows Mobile.
I installed it after not being satisfied with TinyTwitter. What got me started on Twikini was the ability to filter out my replies. What kept me was the speed and ease of use.
With builtin location updates from GPS, the ability to tweet pictures, short url integration, and Windows Media integration it is a feature rich app.
It also comes with various themes. Here are a couple of sample screen shots…
At $4.95 it is definately a steal, and they even have some creative payment methods!
So if you are a Windows Mobile user and need a great Twitter client, then take my advice and install the first and last one you will ever need!
Let me ‘splain’. No there is too much–Let me sum up.
Today we started a new series called "One Prayer." We are joining together with over 1700 churches around the globe to unite on this one topic. The theme for One Prayer this year is "God is…" Pastor Jeremy kicked us off today with message entitled "God is….Merciful" Jeremy brought us through the story of Jonah to look at the evidence of God’s mercy.
Today we learned:
- God’s mercy Saves
- God’s mercy is not about your past, but about your future
- God’s mercy is about relationship
While Pastor Jerm spoke, all I could think about is what is my Ninevah?
Of course that is an easy one…my Ninevah is Lake Forrest….my neighborhood is one of the largest subdivisions in the country and has had its share of issues in the few years we have been here. There have been a couple of drive-by shootings, reported gang activity, suspicious fires, burglaries, neighbor feuds, etc. Anytime you throw that many people into a small enough area….you’re gonna have issues. Well God is speaking to me and telling me that I cannot run from him or Lake Forrest. I need to start being more active in bringing His Gospel to the people surrounding me. The question for me is what does that look like??? What can I do to be Jesus to my neighbors? One thing I’d like to see happen is for CATR to organize a ministry to gather and distribute furniture, clothing, etc to those in need in LaVergne. I’m not sure of the details on something like this as I am primarily thinking out loud at the moment, but I will continue to think on it over the next few weeks. If this is something that you feel called to be involved with…please let me know!
So the question for you is this…..what is your Ninevah???? Please share what God is laying on your heart here in the comments….
We had an awesome time at our church picnic. we had some awesome burgers and dawgs grilled by a master chef–Dave Loewy! I learned that Hotdogs and burgers are eaten on BUNS in the South rather then rolls….
Our kickball game was phenomenal! We were joined by some of the Mets from the La Vergne baseball league and in the end the adults tired out and gave up the game to the kids!!!! Great game everyone!
TWIC (This week in CATR)
Refuge @ the River @ the Senecal’s 6:30pm — Note: We will meet at Pavilion A at Veteran’s Park weather permitting
Women’s Ministry Fellowship @ Judy Champs 1 pmBring finger foods and you competitive spirit for some Wii!
There will be no Going Deeper groups 6/11 or 6/18 as Erica & I will be away.
I watched an episode of ER tonight from a few weeks ago. ER was the first hour long drama I really got into. Prior to that I never really had the attention span to sit through anything longer than 30 min on a regular basis–especially if it wasn’t going to make me bust a gut or have lots of guns, cars, or space aliens. Over the years, ER lost me–they recycled too many stories–my wife lost interest firs–she said it was too unrealistic–how did so many things happen to one ER in a span of just a few years–I agreed once a helicopter feel on the same guy twice. Well..with it winding up, I decided to go back and catch the last few episodes and watch it go out. I started with the episode that Clooney returned for. It was primarily about transplants. It had me choked up pretty quick.
You see, my Dad had a transplant when I was about 14. He got a new heart! He was given a 2nd chance at life–one he probably needed. Honestly, he made good attempts at fixing some things–like our relationship. It took me about 5-6 years of the extra 7 he received to break out of my adolescent attitude towards him–but in the end, we had some good times. I can’t express how much I miss him–but am so grateful to at least have gotten those extra years–something that would not have been possible if some family members of a 21yo who died in a motorcycle accident had not chosen to donate their loved ones organs.
Much like our Savior gave up his life to give all of us a 2nd chance–we can give others a 2nd chance by simply checking that box on your license–or in the face of tragedy at the loss of a loved one donating their organs.
Please don’t deny someone like me the opportunity to have a dad a little while longer.
Let me ‘splain’ no there is too much. Let me sum up.
This is a new posting series I am starting that will sum up the happenings at Church @ the River each week.
We started a new series today called Dangerous Church 2. Jeremy and I tried something new this week–co-teaching. It seemed to go pretty well-except my pages of my notes kept sticking together and Jeremy dropped his once-but it’s all good!
We need to be focused on Jesus and what He has called us to do. He has called us to be a Dangerous Church–not a Safe one.
A safe church is one where–
- People don’t follow God’s lead because they are afraid to step on toes
- People fear change more then they fear the taxman
- People steer clear of topics that are the slightest bit controversial
A dangerous church is one where–
- People follow God’s direction–regardless of where it leads or who gets offended
- People are honest about who they are
- People serve –they contribute rather then play the role of a sponge
Remember–each and every one of us–myself included–are regular ordinary idiotas–but by spending time in God’s presence, we can become extraordinary people who change the world!
Upcoming events for this week–
Co-ed Life group @ the Klebers 6:30pm (notice location change!)