Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beauty Fades

Actress Farrah Fawcett died today. She lost a long fight against cancer. Her iconic role as one of the original Charlie's Angels 70's is what I best remember her for. I vividly remember watching it as a kid and being slacked-jawed at her beauty.
But, she is no more. Peter said it like this: all men are like grass. The grass withers and fades away. The glory of men (and women) is like a flower.
The bottom line: Beauty is fleeting. Don't put your trust in it--even when the surrounding culture prizes beauty (and youth) above everything else.

SportsCamp, days 2 + 3

Lots of good times at SportsCamp as we learn a different sport each night (thanks to all the Coaches who are faithfully serving as models and mentors this week) as we apply it to Paul's admonition to the Christians in Corinth:

Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.

25+ workers are making the week happen for 110+ kids. We're exhausting ourselves in the heat, and here's why: So we can root kids in Christ. If we start kids with the right roots, the fruits that result in adolescence and adult-hood are entirely different. We're showing kids the right path this week. We believe in themand in the power of God to save and transform a child's life and future. If we didn't believe that, we wouldn't be doing this.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Wheels

A gracious family in our church is letting me borrow this for the week.
It's tough, but I'm putting up with it.

Sports Camp '09

So proud of our team. Lisa Busch is leading a great week for 100+ kids in our community. She had the idea to remix the traditional VBS (VBS. The kool-aid fueled, Bible-themed rampage that churches across the Midwest hold for their communities featuring little men made out of popsicle sticks, Bible stories and crazy games) into a free SportsCamp for our community.

As a church, we want to serve our community, and this is a beautiful way to do it.
It gives parents a break. (serves their parental sanity)
It's free. (serves their pocketbook).
it's full of fun and full of energy. (serves kids' innate need to move)
Tells the story of Jesus. (serves their need to know God).

Everyone is having a ball...even in the sweltering Missouri summer heat.

We close out the week with a celebration service on Sunday and are inviting all the families to be our guest at lunch.

Way to go Kid's ministry team!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Song from Around the World

This was created from musicians around the world...playing the same song.
Amazing. Worth the entire 5 minutes.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Let it begin

This week I begin training in earnest for the Chicago Marathon, my fourth (Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach and New York City were my previous).

I'm running it for Team World Vision, to make a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children on the planet. I'll be challenged and my heart will grow.

Here's what I've found about undertakings like this: Your life--that is, the hundred little things you do every day that make up your life--can have tremendous significance or it can fade into irrelevance. Those hundred little things can all be pointed toward a greater mission, a bigger cause or they can be pointed toward nothing and everything--dissipating their effort into oblivion. So running can be a means to an end--toward seeing God's mission of redemption happen. That's why I'm running.

Donate here. All proceeds go to World Vision. Kyle is running too. You can donate via his page here. I run. You donate. Children win.

get fit + help children in poverty from World Vision on Vimeo.

Some pics from my run of the 2007 NYC marathon for Team World Vision.

Katie Holmes ran that year.(I passed her somewhere around mile 13, unbeknownst to me).

Post race with the medal to prove that I made it.

Pre-race shot of everyone waiting around for the race to start.
Took a camera with me on the run. This is one of the water stops. It wasn't raining that day.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Up, In, Out

There are three doorways to the vital relationships of life:

A doorway up to God. You enter it to be in God's presence. When you walk through it, you experience his love and grace.

A doorway in to your spiritual family. You enter it to belong. When you walk through it, you give and receive love.

A doorway out to the world. You enter it to serve and join God in his work of redeeming the broken people and places in the world. When you walk through it, you experience that it really is better to give than to receive.

If you had to say right now--going with your first gut reaction--which doorway do you most need to walk through, which would it be?

What can you do today to walk through it?
What barriers keep you from doing it?
Who can help you walk through it?

Walk through the open door. It's an invitation from God to deeper relationship.

See I have set before you an open door that no one can shut. Revelation 3:8

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Apparently, I am awesome

Or at least this video says so.

I start training next week for the Chicago Marathon that I'm running for Team World Vision. My goal is to raise $1000 for them (donate here) and the vital work they are doing to combat the AIDS pandemic in Africa.

You donate.
I run.
Children win.

Preaching is harder than hitting a baseball

John Ortberg recently wrote an article comparing the challenges of ministry with the hardest things to do in sports. Hitting a baseball tops the list, in case you wonder.

I always love his insights into life and leadership. If you lead something in church world, you'll find yourself nodding your head in agreement. He nails the task of preaching (one of my favorite things to do).

There is the challenge of trying to preach fresh, creative, substantial messages that reflect the best in increasingly complex scholarship and are integrated into the preacher's soul. And to do this when people compare it to whomever their favorite international preacher is. And to do it again next week, and the week after that, until you grow old and die.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009