Archive | July, 2011

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable

29 Jul

Tonight He-wood and I watched “The Jone$e$”. Let me first apologize for the content that it contained I had no clue some of it was coming…we were looking for a comedy. But the basis of the movie was that the “Joneses” got paid to make people around them purchase stuff. Sounds innocent right? Well it is until a twist happens in the movie and they are all living lies that eventually leads to the death of the husband’s best friend. He got so caught up in keeping up with the Joneses he didn’t pay his bills and, facing foreclosure and hurting his wife, he thought it was best to end his life. Sad times…

Throughout the whole movie I couldn’t help think about how Christians could use this as the next “tool” for evangelism. You know live your life in such a way people are compelled to be like you…oh wait…that’s not new. JK…when the husband started seeing how the lies were affecting his friend and the people around him, I began to think more about how if we pretend to live the “perfect” Christian life, giving Sunday school answers for everything, not admitting we struggle with sin, not showing hurt…how are we any different than the “Joneses”? We aren’t. Especially those in church leadership- pastors or lay leaders. Rightly so, people hold pastors, deacons, etc to a higher standard but what example are we showing when we go through trials and act like everything is okay. Does this really help? Are the lies we tell during discussions of struggles with sin…are they “safe confessions”? These confessions don’t bring much judgement from other believers…but paint you in a light that still makes you feel like you have it together.

Does this strike a chord with you? Have you watched someone go through a struggle and think they are hiding and lying? Have you had the opposite experience and watch someone go through a trial but do it humbly and faithfully?

I think I’m going to try and treat my trial as a silent letter…you know like the “g” in gnat! It’s there but it doesn’t rule the word…just dictates what the word means. While you could <insert crazy face> spell gnat “nat” like mat or pat or bat or cat or fat…gnat just wouldn’t be the same without the silent g. It lacks that pesky feeling associated with the silent “g” and the trial, while pesky, has purpose to glorify God.

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Lord I was born a ramblin’ man…

29 Jul

I am in a bit of a mood where I really want to blog, but I can’t seem to sift my thoughts down to just one thing to talk about.  Therefore, I am just going to write.

Tomorrow will mark six years of marriage for She-wood and myself.  It seems crazy that it has already been six years, but at the same time it seems like I have been with She-wood forever.  I truly mean that in the best of ways.  I am so grateful for her.  She is truly an example of a Proverbs 31 woman.  She is my greatest supporter, my best friend, my favorite person, and a true gift from God in my life.  I love her more than words can really express.  It is so wonderful that God chose in his sovereignty to place us together.

Another thing that I am thinking about this evening is the great provision of God for my family and I.  Even in a time when I am not really sure what the next step is going to be, God is providing at all times.  I’m not just talking financially, but in every aspect of life.  God is providing outlets for me to lead in worship, or at least help in leading worship, at various places.  It is a very unique opportunity to be able to go around to different churches and have the chance to see how other people lead their teams.  To have the opportunity to be under the leadership of other worship pastors and learn how they direct the band and congregation is a great learning experience for me.  It will definitely help to shape me into a better worship leader in gaining a better understanding of how to interact with team members and the congregation.  I have really enjoyed it.  It has also been a great opportunity to get to interact with other Christians in various environments.  I have really enjoyed where God has us as a family right now.  It has been crazy at times, but I have never been more reliant on God for His provision.

So I think that is all I have to say tonight.  I am really looking forward to some great time with my wife’s mom and her family this coming week.  I am also, again, so thankful to be celebrating 6 years of marriage with my beautiful wife.  Thanks for listening, and sorry for the rambling.

And suddenly, my biggest fear: I’ll never stop picking apart The puzzle I’ve been working on

25 Jul

It’s me again…googling lyrics and then a word that follows in the post I’m about to do to come up with a “wonderful” title for my blog posting for today. Yeah I know there’s probably many better things I can post and while I didn’t spend much time doing it…it’s funny how the lyrics I choose end up shaping the post to come. That’s extra and probably a whole blog topic by itself.

Sunday I visited the church where He-wood and I grew up. Where we got married, began our ministry together, and dedicated Wee-wood 1. It’s always enjoyable to visit because it’s consistent and we get lots of encouragement from friends. Anyhow, during Sunday school a friend lead the lesson and if I massacre the lesson he taught I’m sorry…my mind was wandering based on our current trials and the lesson being taught. We studied Job and how he lost everything. At one part I got side tracked when he mentioned puzzle pieces of life, I think he mentioned this at least. I’m very big into analogies (if you haven’t noticed from my writings). But following the puzzle pieces of life analogy we have all these pieces of our puzzle to fit together. Currently, we have the weirdest and most unexpected piece ever…unemployment. It doesn’t look like a normal puzzle piece and for the most part I cannot fit it into my puzzle! See I know what pieces I want to place…I want to place the puzzle piece that’s predictable- it’s a picture of a little boy and he’s born from a different womb but he will be my son. That’s the piece I want to place! I also want to place a piece of our family doing ministry together- us modeling Christian living with friends and church service.  But right now I’m trying so hard to place this awkward shaped piece that must be part of the puzzle. I know it fits and it has to because it’s part of the puzzle (God’s plan for our life), even though it isn’t shaped like the pieces I’ve had in the past I know in the grand scheme of things the picture on the puzzle must go in our puzzle. See the image on my puzzle and our family’s puzzle is us glorifying God. If we were to somehow throw this piece out…the puzzle wouldn’t be complete. So as you do with a difficult puzzle piece you keep trying right…keep turning the piece and waiting for more of the picture to be revealed so you know how it all fits. We may never know why we went through this but certainly as He-wood said earlier last week “to draw us closer to God and each other”.
So back to the title for today…our puzzle isn’t complete until heaven right…we are constantly getting new pieces. What pieces do you want to place and which ones do you keep turning around saying I don’t know where this one fits?!

Well ya, took my day and flipped it around

24 Jul

Thanks Jamie Grace for my song lyrics today. I’m not good at blogging anymore because I’m trying too hard to self edit…whatever. So He-wood and I are taking the Wee-woods to my mom’s house next Sunday. I’ll summarize the trip…13hrs…1 van…2 kids. Now you can let your imagination go crazy thinking of the wonderful fun family bonding we will have, so in preparation for this event I’m making the girls an “eye spy bottle”. I’ve gathered little knick knacks likes small letters, buttons, a hairclip, lapel pin…etc to put inside an empty shampoo bottle to fill with either uncooked rice or beans. Hopefully I won’t forget to take a picture of the items before shoving them in the bottle…otherwise it’s not as fun.  Realistically this may only be played with for 5 minutes and 4.5 minutes of those will be of them fighting over it. Is it worth it? Yes a whole 30seconds to keep them hopeful of getting out of the car and distracting them from the long trip we will be on.

What does this have to do with our blog, which we’ve never stated but mainly focuses on spiritual things? Well we all need distractions right, especially when our circumstances are less than ideal. With He-wood currently unemployed, I tend to need more distractions. Things to bring my spirit up. So in my “eye spy bottle” is still the adoption, books, fun times with family, and the hope that our new place in ministry will eventually be revealed. Many people have seemed to think we stopped the adoption because of the job loss…we haven’t. We’ve got many reasons for not stopping and just as we are trusting God to provide a new job, money for food and bills, we are also trusting God to bring our son into our lives through adoption. We are praying hard for the birth family and for means to pay for everything just as much as we are praying for a new job and church to call home.

Understanding that I made the Wee-woods eye spy bottle and God places things in my bottle. I’m looking forward to what he puts in my bottle in the next few months. It’s fun to get a scripture, sermon, or a word from a friend to enter “my bottle” and lift my spirit.

Time after time our God is faithful, trustworthy Savior.

22 Jul

There have been days in my life when I have wondered, “What have I done to make God stop loving me?” or “Why has God’s mindset toward me changed?” However, the truth is that God has never changed the way He thinks about me.  A. W. Tozer writes, “It seems to be very hard for us to comprehend the importance of the fact that Christ does not change and that there is no fluctuation in His character, in His nature, in His resources, in His love and mercy.”  That statement could not be any more true.

As fickle humans we change what we think, the way we feel, whom we love, and whom we show mercy to on and absolute whim.  Therefore, on earth we don’t currently have a point of reference for a being that truly never changes in any aspect of his essence or state.  Maybe that is why it is so hard for us to understand that God’s love for us, as children of His grace, is unchanging.  Even when we totally jack up everything in front of us, He still loves us.  Even when things don’t go the way we think they should, He still loves us.  Even when things literally fall apart, or dissolve, in front of us, He still loves us.

Tozer also wrote, “His interest in us and His purposes for us have not changed.”  While I may have had an improper understanding of what I thought God’s purpose for me was and is, the actual purpose has never changed.  I was marked before the foundations of the earth were laid.  Therefore, with this in mind I am finding great encouragement this morning in the words of Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

You’ve got a friend in me

18 Jul

During the season that I and my family find ourselves in I have come to truly love very close godly friends.  This type of friend is very hard to find, but the ones that I have uncovered in my journey through life are just as close as family.  I can honestly say that these friends have helped to make this crazy season and time to be much more enjoyable than it would have been without them.

Don’t read this as a contradiction to She-Wood’s post yesterday.  I totally concur with her sentiment that this has been a lonely experience, because none of the people in our close circle of people are in the exact same circumstance that we are.  It is a somewhat lonely place to be.  However, I am so very thankful for the friends that we do have.  It is such a blessing from God to have people who are not your biological family loving on you as if you were.  You all know who you are, and we are so eternally grateful to God for you and your influence in our lives and the lives of our children.

You are not alone, I am here with you

17 Jul

So She-Wood here…yep I’m alive. Throughout this process of a job loss and church shutting down along with some other things I have felt alone. Not that I’m a hugely social person but it has been lonely. There are a billion reasons why this is true but it has shown me how to better minister to people who have lost their jobs. Anyhow…service this morning was about not feeling like you are alone but I was looking up quotes last night about being lonely and came across this one:

Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone.  And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.  ~Paul Johannes Tillich, The Eternal Now

That’s kinda how I feel right now. Trying to enjoy the solitude and looking for the blessings in this. He-wood and I have both grown in our walk and matured and we know eventually God will provide another place for us to minister and life with get hectic trying to minister, make new friends, getting involved and everything but for now we are resting. I know I am not resting as much as I should because I honestly do worry about providing for the mouthes to feed, making sure this transition is a smooth as possible for the We-woods and that their hearts would be protected from any hurt.

Anyhow just figured I should check in and blog. That’s my heart right now…trying to rest in the solitude of God and enjoy the blessings that he has given us right now.