Wednesday, March 29, 2006

An Impromptu Prayer Walk

I know this is last minute, but I got an e-mail from a friend who pastors a church in the area. They are preparing for revival in their town, but haven't had a great turn out for their prayer gatherings. I have a sense of God's leading to go prayer walk the town on Thursday, March 30. I'll probably go in the morning. If you are reading this, and have a desire or a leading to go, call me at The Journey's phone number as soon as you decide, no matter what time it is: 806-549-6221. If you can't go, at least pray for the community around 10 a.m. on Thursday.

The Journey's Conversation Board

Well, due to a "problem" (really, I think it got hacked, but I'm not sure...) with The Conversation board on The Journey's web site, I've had to re-do the whole thing. The good news is that the new one is working. The bad news is that everyone who had registered on it will have to re-register, and the discussion threads are gone. So, if you were a member of The Conversation, please forgive me, and let's get it cranked up again. If you were not a part of The Conversation, now's your chance to get in at the "beginning." Check it out at

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I found this brochure called, "If at first you don't succeed, Don't try skydiving." It has 101 funny one-liners. They aren't all funny, but some of them make me laugh, so I thought I'd share the goodness:
Never Answer an anonymous letter.
It's lonely at the top, but you do eat better.
If we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made with meat?
He who laughs last thinks slowest.
We have enough youth. How about a fountain of "smart"?

More to follow!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My New Friend "Dylan"

I've had the opportunity to speak to several different groups in the last few weeks, and all have been a blessing to me. Last night I spoke to the students at the Wayland Baptist University extension here in Lubbock. It was a last minute thing, and I had no idea what I should speak on. I got the call at 4:30 asking if I could fill in, and the gig started at 7:15. I was really nervous, which is unusual for me, but God did His thing, and 8 people accepted my invitation to shift their trust from themselves to Christ for their eternity. It was sweet!

One of the things I touched on last night is something I've touched on in our faith community and the other places I've gotten to speak lately: our love for Christ being expressed through our love for people. That's where "Dylan" comes in. As most of you who read this know, I office at a coffee shop. I'm here every day from about 9 - 3. As a regular, I've gotten to know tons of people who come through here on a regular basis, and some folks who stop by once. One of the regulars is my new friend, "Dylan." Retired Air-force, he keeps a rigid schedule, and does not like change. I would guess that Dylan has experienced more than 75 years of life, although I've never asked. Loud, opinionated, and brash; he doesn't get received well by the other regulars here. But one day, a couple weeks ago, I engaged him in conversation. Now, he comes in and sits with me. We talk about all kinds of things. Actually, he talks about all kinds of things and I listen. Our first real conversation was about the trouble he got into at the V.A. clinic here. The trouble centered around a stool sample, which he described in graphic detail for about 2 hours! The girl behind the counter tried to rescue me that day, but it was okay. Yesterday, we talked about grace killers, military filing systems, and American culture. Today, as I sat and listened to Dylan talk about the self-centered nature of American culture, his daughter's car trouble, and the military filing system (again), God drove home a point to me in the midst of my busy schedule: My love for Christ is expressed by turning my full attention to Dylan and just listening. Today, he came and sat down on what is a very crazy day for me. But because of what Christ is doing in me, I was able to close my computer and listen, interact, and just let this new friend feel that someone cares. He spoke for a couple of hours and I just sat and listened. When my mind began to think of what I could be doing, Christ reminded me that there is nothing more important than worshipping by giving my full attention to Dylan. I smiled and nodded a lot, spoke a little, but looked my new friend in the eyes and embraced him as an expression of my love for Christ. How can I preach to hundreds of people in the last several weeks about doing this and not do it myself? Now for the fun part: as Dylan went and sweetened the tea that he always gets, I slipped off, got him a gift-card for the coffee shop, and had the girl at the counter deliver it to him without an explanation. He's set for his tea for weeks to come. My hope is that he will come in more often, and sit with me so I can love on him in a place where no one else does. In spite of how others feel or receive him, I have a new friend that I will always make time for because Jesus would.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Greatest Sport On Earth!

Oh, how I love snowboarding! We just got back from Telluride, CO. It's the bomb-diggity, yo! I haven't seen the video stuff yet, but some of the pictures are great. One of the greatest things about this trip is that God is bringing to pass one of my dreams: a hobby to share with my son. This was Jeremiah's second year to ski. I can't describe the feeling of pride and joy that I felt as I watched my little boy come trekking over the hill from his Ski class. As he and I rode the bunny slope together, he passed me and giggled the whole way! After I caught him, we stopped, and I shared with him what a blessing he is, and how glad I am to have this common interest with him. Next year, my little girl will start skiing, and then the whole family will have this great sport in common. I am beginning to pray now that she will love it as much as I do, so that one day, we can all shred Telluride together!

This one is of most of the kids from my youth group.

Friday, March 10, 2006

An Interesting Verse

As I was looking through the Book of Mark during my study times this week, I came upon something interesting. In Mark 8, Jesus feeds the multitudes, and there is food left over. It's a story that most of us are familiar with. Then, the Pharisees come to him and ask him for a sign from heaven. He says to them, "Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it." I've done some reading on what exactly that means, and have found some info, and wanted to see if any of you wanted to weigh in on the meaning of this passage. Here's what I've got:

Draper (1993) argues that the "sign" is not a miracle, but a banner, totem, or token of the Davidic messiah, associated in various ancient Jewish texts and the Old Testament with a holy war. "This study suggests that in an earlier stage of the tradition the 'sign from heaven' which Jesus consistently refused to give, despite repeated requests, was indeed the raising of the Messianic totem to signal the beginning of a holy war against the Romans."(p21)

G. Mark writes: "Some exegetes see 8:12 as evidence of later interpolation as it appears to contradict the miracle tradition in the Gospel, although its source seems to be Paul, and thus, in accord with the normal practices of the writer of Mark. There is no support for historicity anywhere in this pericope."

Christ cautions against the Pharisees and Herodians. Obstinate unbelief will have something to say, though ever so unreasonable. Christ refused to answer their demand. If they will not be convinced, they shall not. Alas! what cause we have to lament for those around us, who destroy themselves and others by their perverse and obstinate unbelief, and enmity to the gospel! When we forget the works of God, and distrust him, we should chide ourselves severely, as Christ here reproves his disciples. How is it that we so often mistake his meaning, disregard his warnings, and distrust his providence? (Mk 8:22-26)


Friday, March 03, 2006

Mark Driscoll's MMA

Check out Mark Driscoll's new MMA (Manly Missionary Award). It's a fun read!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Free Indeed

My good friend, Billy V. has a great post on his blog about freedom, with this being Ash Wednesday and all. It got me thinking, which is usually dangerous.

As Americans, we have a strong sense of independence and freedom. Our country, compared to others, is not very far removed from the bonds of slavery and oppression. I think this, coupled with some other factors like cash flow, technology, etc. can lend itself to creating a world view that sees no limits to what one can do; i.e. The American Dream. I know I've spent plenty of time chasing the American Dream. My big question is: has the church in USAmerica been chasing the American Dream? More money, bigger "houses," more influence, you get the idea. I'm not knocking the wealthy. I've put a great deal of effort into this very thing (and those of you who know me would never use the word "wealthy" to describe me!). And, if I work hard to get everything I dream of having, shouldn't I be looking out for number 1? It's my stuff, it's my life, it's my dreams. After all, it's my right to have these things. I am free to chase whatever dreams and stuff I want. John said that "If the son has set you free, then you are free indeed!" But did he mean that we are free to have the American Dream? Paul penned, "Everything is permissible, but not everything is profitable." The truth is that we have been freed so that we can become bond servants of The Most High. I love Paul's reminder to the Corinthian Church: "For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave." We react badly to the idea of being a slave, but that's what we've been called to. We are no longer slaves to sin, our flesh, or the world. However, we are called to be slaves to Christ. And that means sacrificing things that may very well be permissible to you in Christ, but would not be benficial to the Kingdom, or to the body. What does this look like for you? What do you cling as you chant, "It's not a sin."? With today marking the beginning of the Lenten season, I would challenge you to begin thinking like a slave to Christ, and not necessarily as an American citizen. What do you hold on to? What keeps you from true freedom? What would the Master ask of you that you might balk at because of the sacrifice involved? Whatever it may be, it's time to give it up.