What I learned in church

Trinity 9am Rolf C (I don’t want to misspell his last name; he’s HUGE)
Galatians 5:16-26
Live in the Spirit
– From a previous message:
– we are counted righteous;
– God looks on us as if we had never sinned;
-sanctification: Christ wants to meddle with us – we CAN be free from sin;
– He is forming His character and His nature in us; desires in our hearts that we can’t satisfy on our own;
– Jesus – I have come to set you free; Luke 4:8 – set captives free

Freedom can be found in only one place: Jesus Christ
Paul: 2 kinds of people – those who have confidence in their flesh and those who don’t
– if there is a battle within us this evidence that God is at work in our lives
– it is a miracle to not want to not want to sin
– He points out where we need to grow and then does the work
– the fruit of the Spirit is a GIFT
– I need to be loved the most when I deserve it the least – and thats what God does
– gentleness = humility
– how do I become that way?
– fruit comes when the branch is abiding in the vine; same with me
– I can choose to ignore His presence..why o why would I want to do that..?
– do I recognize that Christ’ presence is always around?
– the more I’m around a person the more I’m going to take on the character of that person; it should be the same with Christ
– am I growing in Christ? Really? I need to take a look at my life and see if the attitudes and behaviors I exhibit – are they more Christ-like?
– HOW WILL IT LOOK? His presence changes EVERYTHING. Fears and evil recoil at His presence
– if we’re going to see revival people need to see the TRANSFORMATION in my life
– see the LOVE FOR OTHER DISCIPLES – identifying quality as a disciple of Jesus

Additional little nuggets that were tasty but I can’t remember where they fell in the message..
– we are drunk on love because He chose to drink the cup of wrath
– He is faithful, even when we aren’t
– I turn to the sins of the flesh when I don’t trust Christ


Poking the hornets nest

I once got stung by a hornet. It sucked. SUPER sucked.

I think about that dang hornet as I barrel toward our Dude’s night coming up December 3rd. We’re going to spend the evening walking through God’s plan for being our satisfaction, specifically in the sexual realm. FUN! This will be a night studying Scripture that speaks to God’s desire to have our attention and trust, promising to be our Provider – and how we squander that splendor for trinkets like porn and masturbation.

I don’t know much about spiritual warfare, but I believe that the Bible is true and that when we’re in Christ, we are struggling against darkness, and that our enemy is an A-hole who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (that’s Wayne’s loose translation of 1 Peter 5:8 and Ephesian 6:12). So, knowing and believing that, I already sense the hornets nest is starting to quiver with anger.

But it’s worth it. Because these boys lives are worth it. Because their future marriages are worth it. Because their future children’s view of their father and Father is worth it. Because our integrity is worth it. Because the Kingdom is worth it. Because Jesus is worth it.

I’d appreciate your input and prayers


The past two Sundays

Sunday, November 7th, I had the great pleasure of watching high school students cross over from death to life at Young Life’s annual Fall Weekend in Rockbridge. It never ceases to amaze me when the Holy Spirit awakens a dead soul – how refreshing a reminder of where I was and what I was saved from! May I never waver in my zeal to see life happen.

I have mentioned this before, but I love that I serve at a church that not only allows me to volunteer with Young Life, but encourages it. What a refreshing and beautiful kingdom snap shot to see two ministries for the same King! It was great being there at Fall Weekend, watching kids respond to the Gospel, and then immediately giving them an avenue (Trinity) to grow in that new Relationship.

This past Sunday, November 14th, I had another unique worship experience: waking up in the freezing cold woods of Shenandoah National Forest. That’s right: I went backpacking. AND, I didn’t even die!

One of my best buddies, Hutch, put together our weekend trek, along with my boy Ace and the young pup, Nolan. What an absolutely incredible trip. We hiked somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 miles, tackled Little Devils Staircase, ate delicious camp food (I was concerned for no reason), and generally dominated the whole dadgum AT. Some additional things I learned:
– God is a beautiful artist
– Doing great things like this with great friends makes it a billion times greater
– I did not realize the levels of soreness my calves could reach
– Dried apricots: thumbs up, oversized dried peaches: thumbs down
– Tommie Bozich has really great gear
– Pushy Cracker Barrel waitresses don’t take ‘no’ for an answer when in a Pecan Pie selling push..creepy
– Didn’t necessarily learn this, but I was reminded of my calling during a quiet moment of Scripture reading out of 1 Peter 5:1-4. So wonderful. Thank you, Jesus

Two weeks of unique Sunday morning worship experiences, both moving in their own way. How were yours?


Things that are neat this week

A run down of great things out there

-Christmas music is beginning to be released! Sara Groves has a free one (better get it quick; not sure how much longer it will be up)
– This one from the Resurgence crew
– I’m so freaking blessed to live in the same town as Ben Arment. Dude’s on point
– The crew at Mockingbird had a link to a WONDERFUL article about our brothers and sisters in Iraq
–  Seth Godin, what the heck?! How are you this smart?
– WHAT! Mumford&Sons playing ‘Come Thou Fount’
– Vote for Losiah!

Got anything neat for me?


Your Secret Name (my review)

I recently finished Kary Oberbrunner’s (@karyoberbrunner) latest,  Your Secret Name. This is my stab at a review. I’d love help with how to review books. I’m asking, in essence, for a review of my review. Goteamgo.

This book gets a resounding ‘that was very good’ from me. It wasn’t his best (Journey Toward Relevance and The Fine Line are both better) but it was, in a word, important. Kary (I met him once in 2003 while he spoke at the University of Florida’s FCA, so yea, we’re on a first name basis) tackles a very meaty subject – identity – both in an exegetical study of Scripture and through personal experience.

‘Your Secret Name’ follows the life of Jacob, younger twin of Esau born to the patriarch Isaac. The book takes us through the Birth Name of Jacob, that which was bestowed on him at birth: deceiver, literally ‘heal grabber’. Jacob was labeled with his birth name, and, well, lived up – down? – to it. Oberbrunner tells us that we, like Jacob, were tabbed with a birth name, and, if we’re not careful, we too will live a life limited by the expectations of that name.

Oberbrunner goes on to tell us that we each have Given Names; names that people attach to us based on performance (or lack thereof), looks, impressions, stereotypes. We are shown how Jacob was given names that clung to him like lead weights, and he never seemed quite ready to embrace the truth that God had something much much bigger for him. And our author/guide opens up to us as well, showing how he was given names based on his stuttering, his rise and fall in wrestling, his perfectionism, and his own destructive addictions.

I was tracking fairly well with where Oberbrunner wanted me to go with the parallels between Jacob’s story and his own, but was thoroughly blown away – in the best sense – by the depth of honesty he showed through his own experience. God showed Jacob and Kary (and us!) that He had more for them, and each of these men took steps toward that new, Secret Name, and yet were still drug down by their own devices and lack of trust.

Who I would recommend to read this book:
– Those who have struggled with issues of identity
– Those who feel crippled by others’ expectations (high or low)
– Fans of Oberbrunner

Why a student pastor should read this book:
– Your students deal with issues of identity
– Your students need help seeing that their identity in Christ is more important than self-esteem or labels by those around them
– You need to be reminded that God is still in the business of guiding and dispensing wisdom, and this book is a good reminder


New friends!

I got some really saweet swag from my new friends Agile Scout (blog, follow them on twitter). You should add them to your Blog roll and Twitter feed. Immediately.

Reasons why (I’m a student pastor, beteedubz):
– The posts are short (I have residual ADD from my kids)
– Connection to more stuff and blogs and people
– Really neat profiles of people practically doing ministry in unique ways (and people not doing ministry but are doing things that apply well to ministry)
– Agile makes a heckuva lot of sense for student ministry. Its a fast-paced, ever-changing world for my students, and therefore for me too
– Great resources (ways to blog better, ways to use social media more effectively, etc.)
– Peter Saddington emailed me back super quick. That’s neat and gets a thumbs up from me

Hey hey, high fives all around

I am a student pastor and

I volunteer as a Young Life leader and it works and it is awesome and I think maybe more ministries should go crazy and work together including church and parachurch organizations. What about you?


Ps – I’m headed to our fall weekend and there are 45 students from the school I work with and most don’t know Jesus personally, and I’d greatly appreciate your prayers. Thanks!