Friday Family Day

Today my whole brood is flying across the country to go to Disney World. Super excited. I’m pretty sure the kids brains are going to explode with how awesome everything is.

Here is a video of Judah Playing in the Muppets Band. Prepare to be amazed by his cuteness.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Kathy, Judah, Jocelyn, my parents and I are all going to board an airplane this morning, fly across the country, and go to DisneyWorld. I’m really looking forward to this time away from my normal routine. I’m looking forward to spending a week with my family to laugh and play together. I’m looking forward to seeing my kids freak out when they see Mickey mouse walking around. I’m pretty sure Judah is going to poop his pants from excitement. I’m also pretty sure that Kathy is going to cry when we watch the parade (that happens).

I went to DisneyWorld when I was in Jr. High with my Neighbor Daniel Lorenze and his parents. It was a super fun trip. Well, everything except NASA. NASA was boresville. I thought it would be way more interested, but turns out, you ride a bus all over the place and have to listen to a bored tour guide give a boring tour.

Anyway, this vacation has not set agenda, no obligations to keep, just hanging out with the family and making memories.

Some Thoughts On Learning

I am a learner. Not just because I’m in school. It’s the way I am. I love learning. I love the process of learning. I love new ideas and letting them dance around my head with old ideas. Sometimes I have to give old ideas eviction notices to make room for some better renters.

I can’t help it. If I’m frustrated, antsy, angry, annoyed, it’s probably because I have stopped learning. I don’t need to be an expert at any one thing, I like to learn about all kinds of things.

After I complete the MATC at Northwest University. I have a plan to teach myself German and French. Why? Because I don’t know them, and I need to. There is so much information out there that I want to meet.

The thing that I have to constantly be aware of is that I need to not just acquire the information. I have to be very diligent to apply the information. I can learn from anything, but I have to know going in to the project how am I going to apply what I’m learning.

In college I took anatomy, I got a B, I did fine. But I had no desire to apply what I learned so retention and comprehension were not as important as simply passing to fulfill my science requirement.

Right now there are few things that I am loving learning about. First, the theology of Church. My classes, conversations with other pastors, talking to people in church I love to get all kinds of information, and I can apply it immediately. It’s the best. It fuels me, challenges me, and encourages me.

My second favorite topic right now is Comedy. I listen to all kinds of comedy podcasts, I watch comedy documentaries, because I want to apply this stuff to actually doing comedy. I will probably never be an expert at comedy, but I love learning about. I have listened to the Jim Gaffigan podcast of Nerdist 8 times (if you go search it out there are swears so be warned if that offends you). Gaffigan is a comedy nerd and he’s got so much great stuff to say about comedy.

If I wasn’t as interested in applying the information, I wouldn’t really care about taking the time to really learn. I think our education system tries to make everyone a cookie cutter student and we want well rounded students, that’s a good thing. But the better thing is to find what the student wants to learn and pour as much gasoline as possible on that fire.

In the church I think we have these things that we think people need to learn, but we either don’t have a clear application so we strike out, or we are not taking the time to figure out what our congregations want to learn, or what they need to learn (as opposed to what we want to teach). So people die on the vine because we are not speaking to them.

Freeze

In the hustle and bustle it’s easy to think that busy-ness equals productivity. This is not the case. Just because you are busy does not mean you are going anywhere.

A couple of years ago, I was driving a van on the beach at ocean shores and we got stuck in the soft sand. My first reaction was to slam on the gas to see if I could, through sheer horsepower get the van unstuck. The exact opposite is what ended up happening. The wheels were spinning but I wasn’t going anywhere.

I have a tendency to try to force things to happen. To keep moving, to keep trying to make the thing move forward. This can be incredibly counter-productive.

I also have a tendency to try to make myself feel better about my day by the looking at the sheer busy-ness of the day. But the busy-ness does not equal personal productivity.

The thing that I am learning is that when I feel busiest I actually have to stop and look at what’s going on. I need to freeze and reevaluate my methods, ideas, projects. Am I busy on things that I don’t have to be doing? Am I pushing on a wall that’s not going to come down?

Throwing more hours, energy, money, emotions, etc. at those kinds of problems are no guarantee that you will move forward with those projects.

So freeze – look around to see what you need to not do this week. What projects do you need to take a break from? What roles do you need to give to someone else? What will it take for you to get into a rhythm of productive and peace?

Friday Family Day

My Family on Mother's Day 2010

I am greatly blessed by my family. They are a gift from God.

Kathy keeps me grounded, focused, humble and thankful

Judah makes me laugh, cry, and makes me wonder about the world again

Joss helps me to try to be sensitive and to want to protect her precious heart for the rest of her life. Her smile is amazing.

Friday is my sabbath, and I spend the day with family. I’m going to try to make Friday a day when I post things about my family. So that’s going to happen.

Thursday Theology vol. 1 Salvation

Alright, I’m not a great theologian or anything, but I am a theology student. I believe that Theology is crucial for faithful christian living. You have to know what you believe. Yesterday I wrote some thoughts on the Bible. Today I want to share some thoughts on Salvation.

God is not a vengeful, spiteful being. God is a Creator, God is love, and God is a God who saves and rescues.

In Genesis 3 Adam and Eve sinned. God created humanity even though he knew that we would sin. And he knew that he had a plan to bring people back into relationship with him. IN the OT we see that God rescues Israel and gives them a law, which they were going to ghave to follow very closely, and every year they would have to make sacrifices for their sins. God knew that ultimately he was going to send the Son to be the final sacrifice for humanities sins. God knew that we could not pay for our sins our selves. On the Cross the Trinitarian God provided the ultimate means for our salvation. He paid the price that we could not pay on our own.

Sin is anything that separates us from God. Because of the Sin of Adam and Eve we are sinful by nature. We are selfish. We desire our own gratification. Left to ourselves we would end up destroying our lives or trying to become our own Gods. We try to save ourselves. But God always had a plan for us and he is redeeming us.

There are two terms that people use when they talk about the work of God in salvation.

Sanctification & Justification

Sanctification: the process of being made holy only through the merits and justification of Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Justification: is God’s act of declaring or making a sinner righteous before God. Justification is a singular act in which God declares an unrighteous individual to be righteous because of the work of Jesus. Justification is granted to all who have faith, but even that is viewed as a gift from God

Both of these things are a part of salvation. Justification happens at the moment where we surrender our lives to Jesus. It’s immediate and effective. We are not longer deemed sinners in God’s eyes.

The process of becoming more like Jesus in behavior and freedom from sinful activities is Sanctification. When Paul says work out your salvation this is what he means. Not work for your salvation, but work it out, become more like Jesus. This is the life long process of salvation.