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Archive for January, 2011

Top 5 Posts!

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

I have been a blog reader and writer for quite some time now, and I am excited that I have arrived at a point that I can post my top 5 most popular blogs! I think this might make me a professional blogger or maybe I just too much time on my hands. Either way, I hope you enjoy!

1. Recovering from Tragedy
2. the dilemma with VBS
3. A Note for the Guys…part 2
4. In sickness and in health
5. A glimpse into LIFE Group coaching

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Categories: Newsletter Tags:

Setting some rules

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

We all bring expectations to just about anything we are a part of. I do mean everything. When you head to the mall, you are expecting to find something you like, and if you don’t you walk away unhappy. When you arrive at church you are expected to be greeted by someone at the door or you are expecting some kind of holy moment that will help you feel closer to God. Small Groups are no different. You bring a group of people together and you have certain expectations that will help you feel that your time isn’t wasted.

What are those expectations? Are they sensible? Or do they keep you from finding some real? We all need to be able to establish some ground rules within our groups. If you are attending something where time and time again you are dissapointed, its clearly not working out for you. Most likely becuase your expectations are not being and there are no rules established.

You might be thinking, “Why do we need rules?” We work best when there is order. You go to work and you work within given parameters. In sports, the players have rules they need to follow. Rules are everywhere. They are healthy to have!

Next time your group meets, talk about what everyone expects of their group. What are the rules you need to establish for yourselves? This is a group effort. Rules are only functional when everyone agrees on them. If you are the quiet one in your group, this is your turn to speak your mind.

Once your rules are set, your group will find new life. It will become a place of met expectations. If you know the group will be done by 8:30, you don’t need to worry about being late to your next appointment. If you reveal  some things about yourself, you don’t need to worry about who else outside of your group will know about it the next day. It’s about building trust in the group and having a group you can rely on in all situations.

For more information about Setting Ground Rules, check out ReGroup by Cloud, Townsend, and Donahue.

I love A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.S.!

January 19, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s always interesting to see younger people text on their phone’s and on facebook. (wow, I am making myself sound old.) It’s almost as if they are typing in codes and acronyms. Personally, I keep my acronym use simple. If it’s not BLT, BBQ, USA, GI I probably don’t use them. So, I am going to challenge myself to create a new one. It’s a long one, but I might be able to get something good out of it.

I have been thinking a lot about the relationships we create with those around us. My last few posts have revolved around the idea of being real with others. Obviously this is a key ingredient to any good relationship. So, let’s see if I can get an acronym out of RELATIONSHIP.

R – Real. Relationships are and need to be real. The authenticity of your relationships often will say a lot about you. For example if you have surface relationships, you are probably a person who doesn’t like to open up. However, the opposite is true. If your relationships run deep, then you are a person who is not afraid to be vulnerable and to be real with others.

E -Easy. I have found the more real I become with those around me, the easier my life is. If I spend all my energy trying to create a facade or to hide who I really am, I become exhausted, frustrated and really I become a person that is no longer likeable.

L – Love. Relationships are all about the love. It’s because that God loved us that we may also love. It’s one of the greatest things we have been given.

A -Accepting. This might be a harder one. I want to make a distinction accepting is not enabling. Accept the person for who they are. You don’t need to accept what they do, but any relationship is built by getting past the little things that drive us up the wall, but understand that we are all sinners in need of a savior.

T -Truth. All relationships are based on truth. You won’t last in relationship built on false realities or lies. It’s those close relationships especially which are built on the notion that I am not going to be someone other than who I really am.

I -Inspiration. A good relationship is always inspirational. Why else do we “ooh” and “awww” when we hear about an old couple celebrating 50 years of marriage. It gives us great hope in our relationships.

O -Ornery. A good relationship has much laughter in it. Someone who likes to have fun will always have a great relationship.  Laughter generates something special inside us. It gives us new light on a day and eases our spirits in hard day.

N -No. The best relationships carries can carry the weight of love. Even when that love demands you stand up to something that is bound to tear that relationship apart. It gives you the peace of mind to say no to someone who needs to hear it without breaking the relationship apart.

S -Spiritual. Relationships are spiritual. Christ came to this earth and built relationships. He came to tell the  truth, but the relationships he had could get through anything.

H -Hope. Hope brings a bright future. Relationships provide hope. It’s about knowing that those people who are closest will be there for you through anything. They bring hope when everything else seems so dark.

I -Isolation. If you have ever felt alone, a good relationship will bring you out of isolation. It gives you assurance that you are never alone. We were not meant to love in isolation and therefore we have been given a great opportunity to connect with people whom we know will always be there.

P – Perseverance. Good relationships endure just about anything. Even in Christs last moments, his followers denied him, we know that there is always forgiveness to be found. It’s satans goal to think that relationships weren’t meant to with stand pressure, but sure enough they can with stand anything.

 

Categories: Community, Discipleship Tags:

Who are you…really?

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s a bit ironic that while we live in an age where information about any given person can be found just about anywhere, in person, we do our best to put our best facade up. When it comes down to the facts, we don’t want people to know who we really are.

I have been seeing a lot of people put out warnings about a website (www.spokeo.com). This website publishes “personal” information about people. We are warned to adjust the privacy settings so once again, people can’t know who we are. Well, I typed my name into this site, and for those of you who know me well, you’ll get a good laugh out of this. According to Spokeo.com, I am:

Age: 38 (not quite)
Gender: Male (check)
Ethnicity: Caucasian (check)
Zodiac: Aquarias (nope)
Relationship: Single (I hope not!)
Children: Yes (still praying for)
Home Owner: Yes (check)
Residence: Single Family House (check)
Length of Residence: 2 (almost)
Est. Home Value: $400k-$600k (Do I really make that much money?)
Neighborhood: Below Average (I love our neighborhood!)

My Lifestyle & Interest includes:
Has Children
Enjoys Shopping
Enjoys Retail Shopping

My income level is around $50k (Must of missed that raise!)

All I can really say is “Wow”. This couldn’t be any further off from who I really am. I mean seriously, I have never enjoyed shopping! I suppose it would also come to a surprise when my wife finds out that we are not married, yet we have children!?

Anyways, really think about this for a moment. When you meet people, what defines you? Can I find out from an internet search that what you really enjoy is serving others? You are a follower of Jesus?  Who are you? What kind of person would I be if what the internet gave as a description for me is what I gave you? Who would you say I am?

For myself, I’d hope if people knew me, they’d know that I love Jesus, I love my wife, and I love people. If we were all open books, what would I know about you?

Group Leaders…lend me your ears!

January 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Leaders, don’t forget this Saturday, January 22nd we’ll be meeting from 9:30am – 11:30am.

Our topic of conversation will revolve around “Getting the Most out of LIFE”

While many of us our so busy, our group life slowly drops to the bottom of our priority list. Why? Even in a busy world, why should group life suffer? We’ll talk about how we can take charge and help our group members take that step of faith by putting this time back toward the top.

Categories: Calendar

Recovering from Tragedy

January 11, 2011 1 comment

Good Morning! I have been away from writing now for a couple of weeks and I hope to be able to get back into the swing of things quickly.

There nothing quite like a tragedy over a the Christmas break to really help you start the year with clarity of what life is about and how you want to live yours. As many of you know, my father passed away on January 1st, 2011. On the day that I was supposed to be making new years resolutions about how I could read through the Bible in one year, or maybe start running a little more consistently, I was saying goodbye to the man who had been a rock in my life.

I want to quickly make a note to those who have lost a father this year. I have spent time with many of them, and I now understand the pain they were experiencing. I know death sometimes feels like the end, but I think the more I dig into the Bible and understand what death is the more I find it’s just a beginning. Many people will agree and say yes, they are dancing and suffering no more. While this is true and something to be celebrated, I think its also a beginning for those left on this earth.

Have you thought about how your life changes after a loved one dies? Have you considered that all the little things you had been letting bother you don’t mean as much anymore? I think its great insight to when we discover just how precious this life is. So as I am about a week or so late in making my new years resolutions, I feel like I need to make this year count. I need to do something that affects more than just me. I need to do something that helps people know that there is a life to be lived and its worth living. Christ did indeed prepare a place for us in heaven, but don’t let that water down the fact the He died for you and I so we can live a life worth living.

When tragedy strikes your life, I encourage you to make the most of it. Allow it to be a wake up call that life is short. Whether you just lost a child, a parent, brother, sister or grandparent, the stage of life is not important. The fact that while here they were able to live the life that was worth living, a life lived for God. Look at these words from Paul to his fellow worker Philemon. “Your  love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.”

Here is the heart of someone who is living a life worth lived. Let this be our new years resolution each year to be of great joy and encouragement to those around us and to refresh the hearts of the Lord’s people.