He had a post earlier today that talked about how his mind races to personal points as an offshoot of what the speaker is talking about. It's a great read, as will be all the others from Buzz and his blog in general.
Best statement in the post was this:
The worst fate, in my opinion, that our church could suffer is not running out of money, not losing people... but being ignored by our community.
Man, that's an awesome thought. JM
That's why I love small groups. It makes people willing to be more vulnerable. Their more willing to expose their true feelings, emotions, struggles, and doubts. JM
Jesus wasn't really into that. I think if I walked Jesus through our church and tried to tell him about our building he would be so insanely bored. But I think if I walked Jesus through our church and told him about how we're trying to live out his commands, he would be excited. Buildings are nice, but they are tools. If/When I do a church plant or pastor a church, I almost hope that we're portable. JM
But man, when God is done with you, he's pretty much done. He'll make sure you know that you lost something special.
This is one of the great mysteries of God to me. How he can be that trusting. I'm one of the most untrusting people in the world. I'd rather punch you and run if there's a chance in my mind that you might try to hurt me. I think we could all stand to be more trusting. To seek out the good in people. To help them realize their potential. JM
This section documents a current event.Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.
On June 25, 2007, Chris, Nancy, and their son Daniel were found dead in their home in Peachtree City, Georgia. It was first reported to fans of WWE on their WWE Mobile Alerts Service and posted to their official website soon after. Exact details are not yet known, and an investigation is ongoing. On their website, World Wrestling Entertainment released the following statement:
World Wrestling Entertainment is deeply saddened to report that today Chris Benoit and his family were found dead in their home. There are no further details at this time, other than the Benoit family residence is currently being investigated by local authorities.
Tonight’s Raw on USA Network will serve as a tribute to Chris Benoit and his family. WWE extends its sincerest thoughts and prayers to the Benoit family’s relatives and loved ones in this time of tragedy.
WWE canceled the scheduled three hour long live RAW show on June 25, and replaced the broadcast version with a tribute to his life and career, featuring his past matches, segments from the Hard Knocks DVD and comments from wrestlers and announcers.
Fayette County, Georgia police are investigating Benoit's house following the discovery of the bodies, and no details have been released other than to announce that Benoit was not shot to death, and it is being investigated as a possible murder-suicide.
Pretty impressive, I think. What I don't get is that all of the students in my ministry say that their teachers will give them an F on their papers if they site wikipedia as a source. Of course, education is one of the latest adopters that exists. JM
This idea permeates all of how we live, though. It's sad. I'd like to say I'm different, but I'm no better. I love to give people a good impression, and not talk about my struggles. But I struggle just as much if not more than most people. JM
But I love being outside and running around. It's fun just to work together as a team, enjoy the outdoors, and sweat. I really like to sweat. Not really sure why, though. I think it makes me more attractive. Well.... JM
Really, I'm just confident. I know who I am and what I'm good at. The problem is not that I'm not outgoing, the problem is that I'm introverted. I enjoy reading and running and doing introspective things. They're not really group activities. So a lot of times I'll struggle at parties and stuff like that (my wife gets annoyed by this).
But people take my introversion for snootiness or holier than thouness or something like that. I know it's how I'm made, but I think it can hold people back from the kingdom of God, so I need to work through it. JM
But he goes a step further. You can bid to sponsor a block of 1,000 numbers. You'll receive a banner ad on the site while he counts and he'll read your info and a message from you. You can also buy advertising space in his house while he counts. This is the kind of stuff that I wish I could think of. JM
But that's so not what Jesus wanted. Jesus lived his life as the greatest example of servanthood. And he had more right to demand respect than anyone.
My desire is to run a ministry and live my life that embraces the ideas of humility and servanthood, respects individuals no matter their lifestyle, and shows them the love of God through service.
One of the great quote's in Contemplative Youth Ministry is that we should see each person "as the only Jesus we may ever know." I've been trying to remind myself of that as I start every one on one conversation. It's an awesome reminder of the importance of really hearing each person. JM
I'll have to try to run in the mornings, it's just too hot later on in the day. Hopefully I can get fairly consistent at running every day and then I can run the Peachtree City Classic. It's supposed to be a really cool race. JM
I struggled with one student in my ministry a long time ago over this issue. She said repeatedly that she would not listen to me or do anything that I asked her to do simply because she did not like me and had no respect for me. So I told her that she needed to respect the position that I was in, but not necessarily me. This can be hard if you really don't like somebody. I struggle with this a lot. JM
I also just pre-ordered my friend's new CD. You should check him out. JM
It's amazing to me how long we can hold onto ideas that don't work. We think we have a brilliant plan, but it's just not working out. So we tweak it a little bit and run it into the ground until finally we give up and come up with a completely new plan.
That's basically how my ministry has been. Great ideas meet with little or no response. I revise the idea a couple of times only to receive the same response until finally I abandon the idea.
I guess instead I should seek out God-ordained ideas. There are tons of great ideas out there, but I'm not sure if God is willing to bless all of them. I think the key is to find what God is willing to bless and run with that. JM
We never updated it, though, and it quickly became obsolete. So now it's a blog that will be updated on a fairly frequent basis by my wife. It should contain her thoughts, maybe some of my thoughts, and hopefully some pictures of our family, with a heavy emphasis on our kids.
Check it out. JM
But I also struggle on the other part of what Jesus is talking about here. We're to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. My soul is easy, because I've given it to Jesus. My mind is easy because that's how I fell in love with Jesus because I think he is truth. The toughest part for me is my heart. Sometimes it is tough for me to be passionate about Jesus.
The speaker at this program we went to tonight talked about loving Jesus and letting that be all we're trying to do. Not doing things for God so that we can get recognition, but simply because we love Jesus.
I don't really struggle with wanting recognition or anything like that, but a lot of times I struggle with doing things for God because I like to do those things. For instance, leading worship is fun, but I can't always say that I do it because I love Jesus. I also love music, I love the idea of worship, I love the mystery of God, I love the creativity involved in worship experiences. All of those things are good, but they aren't because I love Jesus. JM
I also thinks its funny that before they try to trick Jesus, they spend some time softening him up with nice words. They don't really care about him at all, but they want to try to get him off his guard. Make him relax or something. Satan tries the same kind of stuff with us. Tries to get us to not guess that temptation is coming, or to put us in a unique situation, or just surprise us. It's all just to make us look dumb, though. JM
Anyway, so I start doing my little bench press thing and it feels really easy. The goal is to do 12 reps, and it was going really well. I got to 10 and it still felt really easy. I wasn't straining all that much. I do rep 11 and it feels pretty much the same. So I go for rep 12. I lower the weight down to my chest and begin to push up, but the weight doesn't move. Odd. I try again and can't move the weight.
So there I am with 225 pounds stuck on my chest (it was really only 135, but 225 sounds so much more impressive). When I was a kid and would work out in my basement, I'd just lean the bar to one side, let the weights fall off that end and then it would tip the weights off of the other side. But that didn't really seem like a viable option.
I'm going to have to ask for help (if you know me you know that's a pretty big deal). I try one more time to see if magically I've regained my strength or the weight has become lighter, but I still can't budge it.
Thankfully, this guy goes "you need some help?". I said something like "Yeah, I got stuck." Then with like one finger he lifts the weight off of my chest. Pretty fun little incident to start my morning. Maybe one day I'll get strong enough to lift my own weights. For now I'll just stay small and wussy. JM
The service was nice, and I think most everybody liked it, but it all didn't really flow together. Just seemed like a mish-mash of different ideas.
Oh well. JM
I love this analogy because we spend so little time preparing ourselves to worship God forever in heaven. I hope that when I get there that it is not all that shocking of a transition for me. That I am so used to following God and so familiar with his presence that it seems like I am home rather than in some foreign place. JM
We picked up the man day idea, but haven't really done anything with it. It will be interesting to see how it all works out, but right now I'm wondering who is at fault. I mean, I suggested the idea, it's kind of incumbent upon me to see it through to full fruition since it rests in my mind. However, the vast majority of the decisions that needed to be made and the approval that needed to be granted were not mine to make or grant, so I felt like I could pass along the idea, but that was about it.
We'll see what happens, but I have the feeling that most people won't get it because of poor communication on the front end and no real holistic "man day" feeling throughout. I'll let you know tomorrow. JM
I love verse 43 because it's my ticket into the kingdom of God. Man, I wonder if the Jews had really been obedient to God if I'd be invited to the party or if I'd be stuck out in the cold still. JM
Here's a piece:
I viewed myself as a hunter. God viewed me as his ambassador (II Cor 5) and
as salt and light (Matthew 5). Once I understood how God views me, I left my
heathen hunting days behind. I embraced being his ambassador, representing him
in a world in which I do not belong.
It's definitely worth the clickthrough, though. JM
Reston Community Church
It seems like every other site wants to show you everything that they offer right on the home page rather than just giving basic information and then allowing people to click through to find out more if they want. Hopefully we can end up with a site like Mars Hill. I just love it. JM
So then they ran over on the end until 9:15 PM. Groups were leaving because they had to make it back to their church. The band played on, though. Caught up, I'm sure, in some rapturous spiritual moment. Whatever. Anytime someone runs over like that or starts late like that, or DOESN'T OPEN THE DOORS, it comes across as arrogance to me. I hate it. JM
We're just like the pharisees, though. We look for the easy way out, or the "right" answer, rather than speaking our convictions. I wonder how different my life and ministry would be if I really spoke my convictions and held to them unswervingly. JM
It's like they constantly forget that Jesus is God and can do anything that he wants. They've seen it constantly, so why would they be so amazed by this.
This is so similar to my faith, though. I mean, I constantly am amazed by what God has done for, through, and with me, and yet I never think he can do it again. I always feel like I'm struggling to stay afloat and yet God is constantly showing me that he is perfectly capable of teaching me to swim.
One of my favorite characteristics of the disciples is that they were so dumb. They never understood what Jesus was saying or at least the true implications of it.
Also during mission trip I learned how to play Helena by My Chemical Romance. It's the kind of song that when you play it you want to be in a rock band. Loads of fun. JM
So what am I too afraid to do because of the establishment? I'm not sure, but I think the lesson from this passage is to quit caring what the ramifications of an action will be and do it if it is God-inspired.
Seth Godin talked about that today on his blog referencing the moment when most people blink/pause to think about the situation. Jesus didn't do that. He just reacted. JM
Today after church I was talking with a student. He just wanted to see how things were because I hadn't seen him in a while. He just finished his sophomore year, so he's two years removed from being in my ministry.
Kind of randomly toward the end of our conversation he mentioned the fall retreat that I did in 2004. We took 3 vehicles on the trip, and I was in charge of driving the van filled with the luggage. There was only one other seat in the van, and for a large part of the trip, this student occupied that seat. I can't remember what we talked about, he probably can't either, but he mentioned that car ride.
Creating that memory with him and whatever we talked about at during those few hours I'm sure had more of an impact on his life than all of the messages that he listened to me give. There was no structure, just conversations about his life, my life, and any advice I could give him.
I don't think we should ditch all programming, but I do feel that the vast majority of ministry needs to be focused on free-form small groups where students and adults can interact in a casual atmosphere, can ask probing questions, and receive honest responses, input, and advice. The more I think about it, that's exactly how Jesus ran his ministry. Sure he had his big programs that impacted people, but I bet he relished the times he spent with his disciples around the fire at night. I wish I could have been there. JM
People like to juxtapose this scene with his crucifixion 5 days later and wonder what happened. But when you read how his arrest and trial went down, it was all a carefully orchestrated plot by people in power. Jesus' impact on people was obvious, and people in charge were scared. He was bringing about change, and it was going to continue in their city.
The movement of God, and true Christian spirituality can be scary. We're unfamiliar with it, and sometimes it can be uncomfortable. It's a different mindset on how things should work within the church, and a lot of times people in power react adversely to it. I pray that I can embrace it and develop a ministry that embraces spirituality and encourages people to search for truth and fall passionately in love with Jesus. JM
This trip was interesting because there wasn't a lot of like hard, hands-on, get dirty kind of stuff. It was mainly publicity and direct interaction with people. What I loved about it, though was the time that I got to spend interacting with students, especially the guys that were in my suite late at night. I'd go down and talk to them for a couple of hours each night and just hang out.
I think the key to life change is the stuff you talk about then. When the day is winding down and you can be real with people.
I talk a lot about the moments before sleep. When life is slowing down and you can really think about what is going on. That's one of the reasons that I do my quiet times at night, and the main reason why I blog at night. I just feel it's the most contemplative part of the day.
Spending time with the 9th grade guys makes me really miss them. They are such a great group of guys. It's tough, too, because right now there is just no student leadership in middle school. It's really hurt the direction of our ministry as a whole. I'm trying to assess where we need to go next year in order to recover. I don't care about numbers, or anything like that, I just want to spiritually impact the students that God gives me. The question is how best to do that. JM
It's cool that Jesus felt sorry for them and healed them. I think that might be the key to getting God to seeing God answer a prayer request. We will never be able to earn anything from God and will never receive anything because we deserve it. So basically, we're just trying to get God to have mercy on us and feel sorry for us. Kind of changes your perspective on prayer. JM