Saturday, December 29, 2007

flying by

Isn't it true that the moments we want to freeze seem to fly by the fastest? I never really have understood why that is, but it proves true time after time. Over Christmas I had the chance to go home (Denver area) and see family. It was so fun to see everyone, but the week just flew by. I'm here for one more day and I just want pause the day so that it lasts longer. 
I used to run into this same phenomenon on the trail as a backpacking guide. We always wanted to stay up on the peak for a long time - we always wanted to stay on the trail for longer than the week allowed. However, as you stand on the peak you realize something. Nothing grows up on the peak. All of life takes place and happens in the valley. We only go up to the peak to get perspective on where we have been, where we are, and where we are heading. 
These moments of celebration and holidays serve the same purpose. They are great and we want them to last, but the real growth takes place in the valley of everyday life.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Movies

I love watching Christmas movies. Here is a quick list of my top few favorites. Feel free to add to my list.
  1. Christmas Vacation - absolutely hilarious
  2. A Christmas Story - You'll shoot your eye out... a close second
  3. Elf - a new classic. Will Ferrell is great
  4. It's a Wonderful Life/Family Man - good moral point
  5. Home Alone - one of my favorites as a kid

Let me know if you have any to add to my list.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

the night nothing went right...

The other night we took the college group down to downtown San Diego to go ice-skating and have dinner together. Have you ever just had one of those nights where nothing goes right? This was one of those nights for me. Here's how it went:
  • We go to the restaurant (Hard Rock) and it was really expensive - and of course nobody factors in tip or tax.
  • Then we went to go ice skating and the line was so stinkin long that we decided not to wait (I mean it would have taken at least 2 hours to get on the crappy ice!)... and we'd even called to reserve skates, but they didn't hold them for us.
  • Luckily Steve and I had a back up plan... superman to the rescue. We had mapped  out routes to neighborhoods that have the best Christmas lights in San Diego. So we decided to do that instead of ice skating. But, as we were walking around the neighborhood it started to down pour. What the heck?
The funny part of the night was that although it sounds like it was a disaster, it was actually a really fun night. All the people who went on it had a great time being together. I think that sometimes in ministry we get so caught up in planning the perfect program that we forget that the real fun is in being together and connecting with each other. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Last year my uncle showed me a website that let's you set up free, customized, and commercial free online radio stations. You just give them the name of an artist you like and they create a radio station for you with bands similar to the artist you give them. Check it out... it's a great way to find some new music; something I'm always looking for.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the wall

This past weekend I gave a message on what it means to have freedom in Christ - and freedom in our lives. I am just blown away that the God of the Bible in no ways wants to burden people with more commands to keep, but He wants to free us. One of the amazing truths that stood out to me is that I am most free when I am concentrated on people other than myself. 

As I thought about freedom I had an image that came to my mind. Two summers ago I had the chance to go to Germany. We flew in Berlin and go to spend a few days there. As you probably know Berlin used to be divided by a wall. The West side was free and the East side communist. There is no wall today, but you don't need one to see where the division was... here's why. On one side of the city you see amazing Cathedrals, artwork, buildings that take your breath away. However, on the other side of the city you see square buildings - built mere for pragmatic purposes... boring.

One of the things I am convinced of is that God wants us to live free - free to make art, free to express creativity, free to have enough confidence to take chances and possibly fail, free to know that we are children of the king no matter what happens. I want to live free and inspire other people to do the same.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

a surpirse gift

I was studying for a message last week and I was speaking on joy. We are going through a series this Christmas season called 'Wait of the World' and we are looking at all the things that the world was anticipating and hoping for from a messiah. Isaiah 9:2-7 gives a wonderful picture of this. Last week we talked about the wait of moving from sorrow to joy. As I studied, one of the things that I came across was that the word for joy actually comes from the same Greek root word as the word for grace. One of the cool things that I learned was the the word grace literally means/meant - a surprise gift. So, joy is actually our response to 'a surprise gift.'

That struck a cord with me especially during this Christmas season. We have increase joy as we are more and more surprised by the gift that God has given us - the gift of His very son. What a thing to celebrate this time of year. Unfortunately, many of us have heard the story so many times that it no longer surprises us. I hope the story that God came to earth (a vulnerable baby, born in a pie of animal crap to a teenage couple without a dime to their name) - Emmanuel; God with us - I hope the story surprises you again this year.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Robbie Seay music review

I recently got the newest Robbie Seay Band CD - Give Yourself Away. This is a really good CD, it's one of those that you can listen to all the way through. However, we were singing on of the songs from the album yesterday in church and a few of the lyrics struck me as being theologically iffy. Here is what we sang (from the song 'Song of Hope')

I will sing a song of hope
Sing along God of heaven come down
Heaven come down
Just to know that You are near is enough
God of heaven come down, heaven come down

That sounds all nice and good, but as followers of Christ the hope isn't that God will come down, the hope is that God HAS come down. That's what we celebrate when we celebrate Christmas, that God came down. Emmanuel; God with us. Heaven came down crashing into earth in the form of a baby, born to a teenage family without dime in their pocket, in a dirty barn sorrounded by animal crap. God came down.

I don't want to destroy the song too much, I actually really like the melody, but the lyrics are just not theologically correct. He then goes on to state that God is near. On the contrary the Bible states that God is here! (Psalm 139, Romans 8:38-39) There is a big difference between God being near and God being here.

Let's celebrate a God that has come down and God that is here. That is a song hope!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I'm back

Well, I was a little bit embarrassed after I predicted a Rockies win and they went out to get swept in the world series. I took about a month off to recover, but now I'm back... for good.

Right now I am teaching a series in the college group called 'Wait of the World.' We are asking the question, what must it have been like to be a Jewish person waiting for the messiah for all those years. I mean, they waited for thousands of years for someone to come and save them. Not only that, but their prophets kept writing about this supposed messiah/savior who was going to come. I assume that the hope and tension built with every word they penned.

I wonder if we are as hopeful as they were. I wonder if we are still amazed by the story of Christmas and the truth of a savior and God being with us. I wonder...